On January 28, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly (90 – 10) passed a bill for direct aid to the restaurant and bar industry. This “Restaurant Rescue Plan” was a bipartisan bill that had been awaiting action since June.
The bill must now go through the budget reconciliation process. It is expected that the Senate will allocate $25 Billion for the bill in that process.
The problem is that the Plan needs to be approved by the House of Representatives as part of the Biden Administration’s larger COVID-19 relief package, which is proving contentious between the two political parties.
The latest information is this: On Wednesday, February 10th, the U.S. House Committee on Small Business approved $50 billion in emergency pandemic aid for small businesses. This included $25 billion for assistance to restaurants and other food and drinking establishments. The next step in the process will be for the House Committee on Budget to markup this package, which is expected to take place next week. The House is expected to vote on the full COVID-19 relief package the week of February 22nd.
Contact your representatives in Washington DC and tell them to get moving!