House Democrats Pass Stimulus 4.0 (or CARES 2.0)
House of Representatives Democrats introduced new $3 trillion pandemic relief and stimulus legislation on 5/13 called the “HEROES Act” and passed it on a mostly party-line vote (some Democrats defected and voted no) on 5/15. A summary of the HEROES Act is attached (http://www.acraorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5-19-20-attachment-4.pdf). There are some things in the bill of interest to ACRA members, such as almost $1 trillion in grants to states and local governments (which could be directly at least in part to MAG relief), as well as extending unemployment benefits and NOL flexibility. However, overall, the bill ignored the needs of businesses and catered to the Democrats’ base of supporters. The Senate is out of session until mid-June and won’t take up any House legislation until then. Between now and then, however, expect the White House and Capitol Hill to negotiate a CARES 2.0 with respect to Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s warning that more stimulus spending will be necessary to prevent an extended economic downturn. ACRA continues to focus on four policy priorities with respect to the implementation of the CARES Act and a potential CARES 2.0.
- Restoring Liquidity
ACRA sent the attached letter (http://www.acraorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5-19-20-attachment-3.pdf) to the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board last week in an effort to jump-start the CARES Act’s Main Street Program and expand it to cover more American companies. In addition, ACRA continues discussions on the Hill and with stakeholders on policies that will enhance liquidity for motor vehicle industries – manufacturing, sales and rentals.
- Airport Issues
Working on two fronts: (1) ACRA sent the attached letter (http://www.acraorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5-19-20-attachment-2.pdf) to DOT Secretary Chao and FAA Administrator Dickson thanking them for working with all stakeholders – airports, local governments, concessionaires and others – on working through the deep reduction in travel through airports since the start of the pandemic; and, (2) working with other airport concessionaires (food and retail) to seek federal grants to airports to make up for reduced MAG payments from all concessionaires, including car rentals.
- Liability Protection
ACRA is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform on federal legislation to prohibit frivolous lawsuits associated with the pandemic; ACRA signed on to the attached Chamber letter (http://www.acraorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5-19-20-attachment-1.pdf) this week urging Congress to fashion such federal pandemic liability protection legislation in a bi-partisan fashion.
- Travel Tax Credit
ACRA is working with the U.S. Travel Association on a federal tax credit to boost travel in general and car rentals specifically in the future; ACRA has endorsed a USTA legislative proposals calling for a $4,000 individual tax credit in 2020 and 2021 for travel costs, including car rentals.
ACRA 2020 Government Affairs Conference Cancelled
ACRA’s Board has cancelled the 2020 Government Affairs Conference. ACRA has scheduled its 2021 Government Affairs Conference for September 20 – 22, 2021 in Washington, D.C.