The House of Representatives passed the Biden Administration's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan late last night by a vote of 219-212. 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 House legislation includes a $15 minimum wage provision, however earlier this week the Senate Parliamentarian ruled this provision violated the Byrd Rule and would be stripped from the legislation in the U.S. Senate. The legislation is expected to go to the 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.