The U.S. House and Senate are scrambling to reach agreement on a compromise Covid relief package. As the negotiations have dragged on this week, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have emerged as the major obstacles to getting grants for small, independent restaurants into the agreement. Senator Schumer has been leading the charge to get the provisions of the RESTAURANTS Act in the bill, but for some reason Senators Collins and Rubio prefer grants under the PPP program, to the grants we’re seeking, and they also oppose relief for specific industries. This is, of course, after they supported bailouts for the airline and cruise industries earlier in the year as part of the CARES Act.
The negotiations are running into overtime and while help for restaurants is not included in the bill right now, we still have a chance to get this done. Restaurant relief is one of the issues holding up the final agreement. The Democratic leaders are fully on board – they’ve passed the RESTAURANTS Act four times now – it’s the Republicans who stand between you and this money.
So what can you do? Shockingly, not all of New York’s Members of Congress support the RESTAURANTS Act. Contact them, especially the Republican members and ask them to support the bill and to tell their leadership this is a priority. It’s likely a deal will be negotiated over the next few days so please contact your representative this morning. Click here to find your representative.