(April 24, 2020 / JNS) Congress passed a $484 billion relief package for Americans and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the U.S. Senate passing it by voice vote on Tuesday and the U.S. House of Representatives following suit—with 388 in favor, five against and one present—on Thursday.
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it.
The latest package would give more than $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses; $60 billion in small-business loans and grants; $75 billion for hospitals; and $25 billion for testing.
Jewish nonprofits, including Jewish hospitals, are set to again benefit from it.
Jewish nonprofits have received at least $264 million in loans under the $2.1 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress and enacted into law last month, according to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).
According to a JFNA survey, 579 got loans approved from the Small Business Administration.
The average loan was between $5,000 and $4.9 million. The median loan was $256,000.
Jewish groups reacted positively to the latest relief legislation.
“We applaud congressional leaders for voting to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program which has been a lifeline to Jewish communities and others,” said JFNA president and CEO Eric Fingerhut. “Already thousands of synagogues, Federations, Jewish community and healthcare centers have benefited and we are grateful to the many Members of Congress who extended the program.”
“In a time of national and international crisis, we are encouraged by the display of bipartisan cooperation involved in the passage of this act,” said B’nai B’rith in a statement following the Senate passage.
“This interim #COVID-19 package passed by the Senate is an important but small step forward. Congress must continue work on a significantly larger aid bill that focuses on vulnerable communities and provides additional funding for Medicaid, states & cities,” tweeted Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism after the Senate passage.
This interim #COVID-19 package passed by the Senate is an important but small step forward. Congress must continue work on a significantly larger aid bill that focuses on vulnerable communities and provides additional funding for Medicaid, states & cities.https://t.co/jjT4W9tM9B
— Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (@TheRAC) April 21, 2020
“We are very pleased that Congress has replenished the funds in the SBA Paycheck Protection Program,” Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy, told JNS. “While many synagogues, day schools and other Jewish community institutions have already received funds from this program, many others are ‘in the queue’ at their banks which are awaiting this replenishment so they can provide these essential funds to our community institutions.”
Nonetheless, he said, “Nonprofits across the United States, including those in the Jewish community, are facing unprecedented financial challenges and need more help.”
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