May 19, 2022
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scheduled a vote on S. 4008, the “Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022,” adding $40 billion to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and $8 billion for several small business groups in financial stress.
Nearly fifty Democrats will vote for the bill but sixty votes are required, thus our lobbying is aimed at persuading fifteen or so Republican senators to support the measure.
Under Senator Ben Cardin’s (D-MD) and Senator Roger Wicker’s (R-MS) bi-partisan bill, S. 4008, $40 billion will go to backfill the 2021 Restaurant Revitalization Fund for the approximately two-thirds of applicants who didn’t receive any grant money under the initial program.
Senators Cardin and Wicker have stressed that these COVID-19 emergency funds are required now, thus there isn’t enough time to appropriate monies to pay for the bill. They’ve also made clear that this will be the last round of small business assistance to industries hard-hit by COVID-19.
Republican opposition to the bill stems mostly from the fact that only $5 billion of the $48 billion cost is paid for. We argue that restaurants and other businesses are in dire need of funds and many would collapse if they don’t receive assistance immediately, as occurred under the original Restaurant Revitalization Fund and Paycheck Protection Program.
Under the earlier PPP program of 2020-2021 and Restaurant Revitalization program of 2021, credit was issued to firms rapidly and helped save the economy from collapse; the same situation exists today for firms operating on lower margins, rising wages and borrowing costs, tightening credit, and continuing inflation.
If connected to Republican senators from your state, or from states where your organization has operations, please contact those Republican senators today—the vote could come late today, so you have all day to call! In Washington, ask for the appointments secretary, or scheduler, or legislative assistant, or have your organization’s branches contact the senator’s local office, and deliver this bottom line message or similar:
“When the Senate votes today on S. 4008, Small Business COVID Relied Act of 2022, please vote in favor of this bill providing urgently needed funds to sustain thousands of restaurants and small businesses who did not receive grants from the original Restaurant Revitalization Fund or Paycheck Protection Program.”
Under Senate rules, Majority Leader Schumer can bring S. 4008 to the floor again if the bill fails to pass today.
Senators Cardin and Wicker have worked very hard in our cause, let’s make every effort to convert a few more Republican senators urgently.
Should you have any questions, please contact us by return e-mail or telephone 703-587-456
PAUL E SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition