A new package of COVID-19 relief has been mired in Congress for weeks, and now a large coalition of associations and other organizations is challenging lawmakers not to recess for the election until they produce more aid to counteract the pandemic’s severe economic impact.
The COVID Relief Now Coalition includes more than 200 hospitality, travel, leisure, business, and government organizations, including Airlines for America, the International Franchise Association, the National Governors Association, and many others.
“It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and prioritize the many businesses and employees in the hardest-hit industries,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and a founding member of the coalition, said in a press release. “Millions of jobs and the livelihoods of people who have built their small business for decades are just withering away because Congress has done nothing. America’s hotel industry is on the brink of collapse. We can’t afford to let thousands of small businesses die and all of the jobs associated with them be lost for many years.”
In a September 30 letter [PDF] to congressional leaders, which was also delivered to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, the coalition said a failure to provide additional economic aid would lead to more unemployment, the loss of jobless benefits, permanent small-business closures, and long-term cutbacks on public services supplied by state and local governments.
“Our employees, businesses, and constituents cannot wait for additional federal aid to come in December 2020 or March 2021,” the coalition said.
Also this week, ASAE delivered a third letter [PDF] to Capitol Hill seeking relief for associations. The September 28 letter, with more than 2,300 signatories, requested access to the Paycheck Protection Program for Section 501(c)(6) organizations.
“Since passage of the CARES Act … , 501(c)(6)s have been without this essential relief made available to almost every other sector of the economy,” the letter said. “As their reserve funds continue to deplete, any more time without aid puts our community in jeopardy.”