April 21, 2020
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement today after the Senate unanimously passed the latest round of emergency funding legislation to provide additional coronavirus-related relief to Missouri small businesses and hospitals:
“The Senate has moved quickly on four consecutive coronavirus response bills, all of which have provided desperately-needed support for the health and economic response to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Blunt. “The latest round of funding is especially critical for Missouri hospitals that have sustained significant losses as they’ve shifted operations toward fighting the coronavirus. Combined with the CARES Act, the Senate has provided a total of $175 billion for hospitals and health care providers nationwide. I urge the Department of Health and Human Services to act quickly to get funding out the door to hospitals that need it most, including rural hospitals.
“More than 99 percent of Missouri businesses are small businesses, and they need a lifeline to stay afloat through this health emergency. Small business owners are utilizing the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to keep their employees on the payroll and cover other expenses. We need to make sure that funding remains available so they’re ready to rebound quickly and get the economy back on track. Given the unanimous bipartisan support for this bill in the Senate, I hope our colleagues in the House will get it to the president’s desk without delay.”
Blunt also announced that his proposal with U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) to provide $1 billion to accelerate the development of millions of coronavirus tests was included in the bill.
Following Are Key Items in the Senate-Passed Bill:
• $75 billion for reimbursement to hospitals and healthcare providers to provide resources for coronavirus related expenses and lost revenue. This funding is in addition to the $100 billion provided in the CARES Act. Missouri hospitals have received $618 million in funding so far, with additional resources expected to be released soon.
• $25 billion, of which Missouri is expected to receive at least $35 million, for necessary expenses to purchase, administer, and expand capacity for COVID-19 tests. That funding includes the $1 billion specifically for the Blunt-Alexander "shark tank" proposal at NIH.
• $320 billion to replenish funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides federally guaranteed loans to small employers to help keep employees on the payroll. Nationwide, 15 million jobs and counting have been saved so far.
• $50 billion for the Disaster Loans Program, and an additional $10 billion for emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants.