Senate passes $480 billion package to expand funding for small-business loans and testing. The bill now moves to the House

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Rosie Perper and Kayla Epstein 

The Senate passed an estimated $484 billion infusion of funds for small businesses, hospitals, and COVID-19 testing as the economy continues to reel from the pandemic.

The chamber passed the Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act on a voice vote on Tuesday afternoon, sending the bill to the House for approval. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has indicated that a vote could take place as early as Thursday morning.

Senate Republicans and Democrats finally reached a deal on Tuesday after hitting a stalemate on whether to pump more money into a small-business-loan program.

On the Senate floor ahead of the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky criticized the Democrats for stymieing the process, but ultimately praised the consensus that resulted in the final package. He accused Democrats of using Americans as “political leverage,” and said he was “glad we’re now poised to move ahead.”

His Democratic counterpart, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said that the two sides ultimately reaching an agreement “shows that even with the partisanship here, as tough and harsh as it can be, we can come together unanimously in a time of great crisis.”

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Source: Business Insider

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