Senate Approves $500 Billion “Phase 3.5” Relief Bill to Fund Small Business Rescue Program

By  //  April 21, 2020

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ABOVE VIDEO: White House, Congress negotiate $500B coronavirus relief bill.

(FOX NEWS) – The Senate on Tuesday passed a nearly $500 billion coronavirus “Phase 3.5” relief bill that would replenish a small business rescue program known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provide hospitals with another $75 billion and implement a nationwide virus testing program to facilitate reopening the economy.

The measure passed by voice vote, which simply requires each side to holler “yay” or “nay,” with the louder side winning.

Ahead of the bill’s passage, some Republicans voiced their frustrations that there was not a full roll call vote, even as some senators remained at home amid the pandemic.

“This is not acceptable,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said on the Senate floor. “We should not be passing legislation … without Congress actually being in session.”

And, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., declared that Congress should stop “printing bailout cash” because the U.S. “can manage this disease without the draconian lockdown of the economy.” Announcing his opposition to the stimulus in no uncertain terms, he told colleagues: “We can’t continue on this course.”

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