Possible Stimulus 4.0 or CARES 2.0
Lots of action in the House: (1) on May 15th the House narrowly passed the $3 trillion “HEROES Act” as a follow-up to the CARES Act; (2) on June 15th, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a $500 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill to fund highway and bridge construction over the next 5 years; and, (3) on June 22nd, House Democrats introduced a $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending package. While House Democrats, Senate Republicans, and the White House appear to agree that further pandemic relief and stimulus legislation is needed, serious negotiations likely won’t begin until after the July 4th congressional recess. Any CARES 2.0 bill likely would hit the president’s desk prior to the August congressional recess.
ACRA Response to Senate Commerce Committee
The bi-partisan leadership of the Senate Commerce Committee sent a letter to ACRA asking for information on the impact of the pandemic on the car rental industry, whether existing federal programs had been effective in responding to those impacts, and what further recommendations ACRA had for future congressional action. The Committee letter and ACRA’s response are attached. (http://www.acraorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/7-1-1.pdf)
ACRA’s CARES 2.0 Policy Priorities
ACRA continues to focus on four policy priorities with respect to the implementation of the CARES Act and a potential CARES 2.0.
The implementation of the CARES Act Main Street Program is ACRA’s primary focus in this area right now The MSP’s implementation has been delayed for weeks and remains the primary federal program to provide further financial assistance to small- and medium-sized employers.
- Airport Issues
ACRA joined with several other associations representing airport concessionaires in sending a letter to Congress urging $5 billion in grants to airport concessionaires, including car rental companies. (http://www.acraorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/7-1-2.pdf) The House Democrats’ infrastructure bill mentions federal support for airport concessionaires, so this idea is clearly gaining traction.
- Liability Protection
Legislation to prohibit frivolous lawsuits associated with the pandemic will be introduced in the Senate after the July 4th recess and will focus on limiting pandemic-related exposure litigation to cases involving gross negligence. ACRA’s Board will review the bill when introduced and support it if it meets the needs of ACRA members.
- Travel Tax Credit
ACRA is working with stakeholders and legislators on a federal tax credit or travel voucher to boost travel in the future. ACRA is promoting the “TRAVELS” program, described in the attached one-pager. (http://www.acraorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/7-1-3.pdf)
A federal court in California granted LAX’s preliminary injunction request against pick-ups at LAX by users of Turo’s car rental platform. (http://www.acraorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/7-1-4.pdf)