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Democrats introduce bill to give hotels targeted relief

Democrats introduce bill to give hotels targeted relief
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Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzDemocrats face big headaches on Biden's T spending plan Democrats introduce bill to give hotels targeted relief Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap MORE (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristDemocrat Nikki Fried teases possible challenge to DeSantis DeSantis to hold Newsmax town hall The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture MORE (D-Fla.) introduced legislation on Wednesday to provide payroll grants and tax credits to the hotel industry which has suffered amid the pandemic.

The bill, dubbed the Save Hotel Jobs Act, would be the first to give targeted relief to hotels. Businesses in the industry thus far have been relying on relief from Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans and other provisions from COVID-19 relief packages.

The legislation would direct payroll grants to be utilized for payroll and benefit expenses for workers and require hotels that receive grants to give laid-off workers recall rights to get back to work.

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It also would provide a personal protective equipment tax credit, which would allow a payroll tax credit for 50 percent of the costs of personal protective equipment, technology to reduce the impact of the pandemic, testing for employees and enhanced cleaning.

“Our bill creates a new grant program that will bring back hotel jobs, pay workers, and help our economy recover,” Schatz said in a statement. Crist added that it's been a “devastating year” for the tourism industry in his home state of Florida.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and UNITE HERE, a hospitality workers union made up of over 300,000 employees, endorsed the legislation. 

“No industry has been more affected by the pandemic than hospitality. Government-issued travel bans and restrictions, which are meant to slow the spread of the virus, have wiped out 10 years of job growth in our industry. Now, millions of jobs and thousands of businesses are at risk—not just hotels, but the many businesses and workers hotels also support in the community. Congress must step up now to support the hotel industry workforce with targeted relief,” Chip Rogers, CEO of AHLA, said in a statement.

The leisure and hospitality industry has lost 3.1 million jobs throughout the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Congress has passed similar legislation to provide industry-specific targeted relief to the restaurant industry, airlines and to live venues.

Applications for the live venue grant program opened on Monday and 24 hours later, the Small Business Administration announced 17,356 applications had been received. 

Following passage of President BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, the White House has been focused on other legislative priorities like the sweeping infrastructure package. The relief package, which passed in March, received no Republican support and passed through reconciliation.