The Senate passed a new small-business and hospital aid package on Tuesday worth more than $480 billion that is aimed at addressing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The measure passed after an hour of debate and a voice vote, which does not require lawmakers to take a roll-call vote. Congress is in recess due to the coronavirus outbreak. The measure now heads to the House on Thursday, where it is likely to pass. The House will probably take a roll-call vote, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Tuesday. The Maryland Democrat told reporters more than half of all Democrats are likely to return for the vote and that Republicans are also expected to return in large numbers. The bill includes $321 billion to replenish a small-business funding program that is helping owners avoid closure during the outbreak. It also includes $75 billion to help hospitals treat patients and deal with budget shortfalls, and it includes $25 billion to boost coronavirus testing, including $1 billion to provide free testing for those who cannot afford it.
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