Coalition-building is proving an integral component in the fight to ensure passage of the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act, S.4150. The United Motorcoach Association is part of two major efforts this week to garner support for the CERTS Act from Congressional leadership.
Today UMA joined a coalition of seven other travel and tourism groups to urge passage of a collection of coronavirus relief legislation that would provide help to these industries whose combined losses will adversely impact the U.S. GDP by $1.2 trillion and result in $80 billion in lost tax revenue. At the same time, UMA is also working with a broad coalition of five national organizations backed by 30 state associations specifically seeking passage of the CERTS Act by appealing to leaders in both Houses of Congress.
“UMA is proud to be part of strong industry-wide unity that is so critical at this time,” UMA President & CEO Larry Killingsworth said. “Working with our counterparts at other like-minded organizations, many powerful voices are able to deliver a strong, unified message to Congress.”
The group working specifically to pass the CERTS Act is comprised of the UMA, American Bus Association, Passenger Vessel Association, National School Transportation Association, and Amalgamated Transit Union. A group of 30 state, regional and local associations have agreed to back the campaign as well. The group wrote to the leaders of each Congressional chamber urging immediate action.
“Based on the nature of their operations, most businesses and workers in these sectors are not likely to resume any time soon or only in a severely reduced capacity,” the group told Congressional leaders in a recent letter. “Unlike other modes of transportation, such as airlines, rail and public transit, these transportation industries have not received direct economic relief to date, placing them in a perilous position, with many on the brink of closing their doors forever.”
For a complete list of all the supporting organizations and the full text of the letter, click here.
Travel and Tourism Coalition
A coalition representing tour operators, motorcoach companies, travel agents, student and youth travel organizations, and other brands that contribute significantly to the economy in the United States and around the world has joined their voices to advocate for pending legislation, including the CERTS Act, S. 4150. The coalition is made up of the UMA, ABA, Adventure Travel Trade Association, International Inbound Travel Association, International Motorcoach Group, National Tour Association, Student Youth Travel Association, and the United States Tour Operators Association.
In addition to urging support for S. 4150, the group is also calling for passage of:
- The Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-Twenty (RESTART) Act (S. 3814), which creates a new loan program for the hardest-hit industries. The program would allow 7-year loans, capped at 45% of 2019 gross receipts up to $12 million, with 100% federal guarantee for the life of the loan, for companies with up to 5,000 employees.
- The Jumpstarting Our Businesses’ Success (JOBS) Credit Act of 2020 (H.R. 6776), which expands the CARES Act’s Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) and makes a number of improvements to the ERTC that would be beneficial to our members, our industry, and businesses around the country.
- The American Tax Rebate and Incentive Program (TRIP) Act (S. 4031), which creates a tax credit of $4,000 per adult to take a vacation at least 50 miles away from their home, and for couples, it increases to $8,000, plus an additional $500 for each qualifying child (the list of eligible expenses includes food and beverages, lodging, transportation, live entertainment events, and expenses related to attending a conference or business meeting).
In a letter addressed jointly to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer the coalition states, “As Congress now considers another round of COVID-19 relief/stimulus, it is imperative that they continue to take into consideration the impact the crisis is having on our industry. We are focused on the ability for our industry—and its hard-working people—to recover and return to some semblance of normalcy.”
See the full letter and all supporting associations here.