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House Passes $484B Coronavirus Relief Package For Small Businesses And Hospitals

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House Passes $484B Coronavirus Relief Package For Small Businesses And Hospitals

The United States House of Representatives on Thursday voted 388 to five in favor of a $484 billion novel coronavirus (COVID-19) relief package for small businesses and hospitals.

What Happened

The House was meeting after weeks due to the shelter-in-place requirements imposed to curb the spread of the virus and followed social distancing protocol during the vote.

The U.S. Senate had passed the bill earlier on Tuesday, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law on Friday, having already expressed his support.

Four Republicans and one democratic House member voted against the motion. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that agreeing to the bill gave Republicans leverage not to pass any further stimulus packages, CNN's Manu Raju reported.

Why It Matters

The latest aid is on top of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus approved by the federal government in March under the "CARES Act." The stimulus package doubles the funding for small businesses and hospitals, which were assigned $350 billion and $100 billion, respectively, in the previous stimulus.

There are 868,945 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. at press time, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and nearly 50,000 people have died due to the complications arising from catching the virus.

Healthcare workers are facing a severe shortage of protective gear and key equipment to serve patients, even as a number of private companies have stepped in to meet the demand.

Unemployment claims have skyrocketed over the past month in the U.S. as the pandemic hit the economic activity in the country, and according to Goldman Sachs analysts, the number could reach 37 million by the end of May.

 

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