WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed a $484 billion bill that aids employers and hospitals under stress from the coronavirus pandemic.
The outbreak has killed more than 50,000 Americans and devastated broad swaths of the economy.
The bill is the latest effort by the federal government to help keep afloat businesses that have had to close or dramatically alter their operations as states work to slow the spread of the virus.
Congress approved the spending almost unanimously on Thursday. Easy passage of this aid installment belies a potentially bumpier path ahead for future legislation.
Anchoring this bill is the Trump administration’s $250 billion request to replenish a fund to help small- and medium-size businesses with payroll, rent and other expenses. The Paycheck Protection Program ran out of money last week.
The measure will also provide hospitals with $75 billion more and implement a nationwide virus testing program to facilitate reopening the economy.
House lawmakers have gathered in Washington for the first time since March 27, adopting stricter social distancing rules while aiming to prove they can do their work despite the COVID-19 crisis.