Congress Set to Pass Fourth COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

Published: April 22, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicPolicy and Legislation

On April 21, the Senate passed a 4th stimulus bill, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, with $484B in supplemental funding for the SBA and HHS.

This additional funding is aimed at replenishing funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides small businesses with loans to support employee payrolls, as well as funding additional testing, diagnostics and medical supplies. The House is set to pass the measure, and the President has committed to signing it.


Funding highlights:

Small Business Administration

  • Paycheck Protection Program ($321B)
    • $60 billion specifically allocated for loans made by small lenders and community-based institutions;
  • SBA Disaster Loan Program Account ($50B)
  • Emergency EIDL Grants ($10B)
  • Salaries and Expenses for administrative expenses ($2.1B)
  • Provides grant eligibility to agricultural enterprises for economic injury disaster loans and emergency grants

Health and Human Services

  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund ($75B)
    • To reimburse, through grants or other mechanisms, eligible health care providers for healthcare related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus. ‘Eligible healthcare providers’’ means public entities, Medicare or Medicaid enrolled suppliers and providers, and such for-profit entities and not-for profit entities
    • Funds building or construction of temporary structures, leasing of properties, medical supplies and equipment (including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing supplies, increased workforce and trainings, emergency operation centers, retrofitting facilities, and surge capacity
  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (Additional $25B)
    • For research, development, validation, manufacturing, purchase, administration, and expanded capacity for COVID–19 tests to effectively monitor and suppress COVID–19. Includes:
      • Tests for both active infection and prior exposure, including molecular, antigen, and serological tests, the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of tests, testing equipment and testing supplies,
      • PPE needed for administering tests, the development and validation of rapid,  molecular point-of-care tests, and other tests,
      • Support for workforce, epidemiology, to scale up academic, commercial, public health, and hospital laboratories, to conduct surveillance and contact tracing, support development of COVID–19 testing plans, and other related activities related to COVID–19 testing
    • States, localities, territories, tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes ($11B).
      Also specifies formulas for distribution of the funds between the entities.
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)($1B)

For surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity expansion, contact tracing, public health data surveillance and analytics infrastructure modernization, disseminating information about testing, and workforce support necessary to expand and improve COVID–19 testing.

  • NIH National Cancer Institute ($306M)

To develop, validate, improve, and implement serological testing and associated technologies.

  • NIH National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering ($500M)

To accelerate research, development, and implementation of point of care and other rapid testing related to coronavirus.

  •  NIH Office of the Director ($1B)

To develop, validate, improve, and implement testing and associated technologies; to accelerate research, development, and implementation of point of care and other rapid testing; and for partnerships with governmental and non-governmental entities to research, develop, and implement.

  • Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) ($1B)
    For necessary expenses of advanced research, development, manufacturing, production, and purchase of diagnostic, serologic, or other COVID–19 tests or related supplies, and other activities related to COVID–19 testing at the discretion of the Secretary.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)($22M)
    For “Salaries and Expenses” to support activities associated with diagnostic, serological, antigen, and other tests, and related administrative activities
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)($600M)
    For Primary Health Care grants under the Health Centers program
  • Testing for the uninsured ($1B)
  • Additional testing and related expenses for rural clinics ($225M)

There are a number of general provisions, focused on reporting and oversight:

  • Requires HHS reporting on COVID-19, such as number of positive diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths, by race, ethnicity, age, sex, geographic region, and other relevant factors.  Also calls for HHS to develop a Strategic Testing Plan.
  • Not later than 3 years after final payments are made, the Office of Inspector General of the HHS shall transmit a final report on audit findings with respect to this program to The Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • Requires HHS reporting of summaries of obligations for funds by state no later than 60 days from enacted and every 60 days after until funds are expended.

This legislation brings federal COVID-19 response funding to nearly $2.7 trillion and represents another step in the federal government’s dual efforts towards both medical and economic recovery. Small businesses should move quickly to gain access to SBA funding.