The House of Representatives is scheduled to take up and pass the Biden Administrations $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan today. This legislation is a critical step towards addressing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis facing the hotel industry.
The American Rescue Plan includes:
- An additional $15 billion to support the hardest hit small businesses;
- $7.5 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding; and
- $160 billion to fight the pandemic and an extension of the employee retention tax credit.
The legislation also further extends unemployment benefits with a $400 supplement and includes another round of stimulus checks for working families. The Senate Parliamentarian is expected to rule imminently on whether a provision increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 will stay in the legislation or be removed. After the House passes the legislation, it will go to the U.S. Senate for discussion late next week.
Unfortunately, this legislation does not include industry specific relief and AHLA continues to call on Congress to immediately implement additional long-term grant programs for industries and workers that have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that thousands of mid- to large-sized businesses in the hospitality sector do not qualify for PPP and have received no relief during the pandemic.