04/24/2020 - Yesterday, the U.S. Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a fourth COVID-19 stimulus package which provides more money for the small business loan and grant programs established in the CARES Act. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act also provides an additional $100 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Act includes:
- $75 billion to reimburse hospitals for COVID-related care and for losses in revenues during the pandemic. This is in addition to the $100 billion provided in the CARES Act for this purpose.
- The remaining $25 billion will go to supporting COVID-19 testing. These funds will be widely distributed across federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well to states, localities, territories, and tribes.
Absent from this package were increases to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program allotments and funds, and flexibilities for other crucial nutrition programs. The Academy has urged congressional leaders to include these programs the COVID-19 relief bills and thousands of Academy members contacted their members of Congress about this issue through the Academy's Action Center.
Negotiations for the next COVID-19 stimulus package are already underway and the Academy will continue to advocate for these priorities.
It is vital for Congress to include provisions in the next COVID-19 stimulus package that ensure everyone has access to these programs and protect the jobs of those on the frontlines – including Academy members. If you haven't already done so, take action today and urge your members of Congress to help Americans keep food on the table.