Montana Senator Steve Daines held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon from his office in Washington just after the U.S. Senate voted on more funding to provide help for Montanans struggling during the COVID 19 crisis.

“Just literally minutes ago the U.S. Senate passed a very important package of over $480 billion of additional relief,” he said. “This will be targeted in some key areas. There’s $25 billion for testing, and Montana will be receiving over $16 million for developing, administering and processing the tests for COVID 19.”

Daines continued with more details about the hard-fought passage of the additional spending.

“There’s $75 billion for hospitals and our front line healthcare heroes,” he said. “There’s also $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program for Montana small businesses. As of today, Montana small businesses have received over 13,000 of these loans totaling over $1.4 billion from this program.”

Daines also said he fought hard to obtain more financial help for Montana’s agricultural businesses.

“There’s also $60 billion for this Economic Injury Disaster Program,” he said. “I’m pleased because I’ve been fighting on behalf of our ag businesses, and they are now eligible to apply for funding under this provision that I’ve been fighting for and I wanted to make sure it was included in this bill. I was very pleased to see it voted on today.”

The $75 billion is especially important for Montana’s hospitals, since Kalispell Regional Hospital recently had to furlough 600 employees.