It’s been a rollercoaster of a week for COVID relief efforts. Still, motorcoach operators continue to work to secure more support for the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act. Already the measure has strong bipartisan support by more than half of Congress. A break came Monday when Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Ranking Member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, added the CERTS Act to his priority list. But by Tuesday evening, President Trump had called for a halt to negotiations.
Ken Presley, UMA VP of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs cautioned Members not to let bumps in the road distract from current efforts and the ultimate goal. “There is still a significant number of legislators that want to get a deal done. Senator Mitch McConnell is said to want a deal on a relief package. Legislators have heard from their constituents, and with only four-weeks until the election, nobody wants to go home and say they could not get an agreement.”
UMA and the other coalition members pushing the CERTS Act have redoubled their advocacy efforts this week. In large numbers, they are imploring members of Congress to include the CERTS Act in any economic relief pact that moves forward. Presley reported that UMA’s online advocacy platform logged more than 3,400 users. Collectively they sent more than 12,000 emails to their Congressional delegations, in only two days. Motorcoach companies are burning up social media, too. Companies are Tweeting to their legislators and to the Trump Administration, using a variety of hashtags, including #RESTARTtheBus and #MotorcoachesmoveAmerica.
“We go where airlines can’t AND we’re small business,” CIT Signature Transportation tweeted at every federal legislator from Iowa.
Buckhead Coach shared the link for UMA’s advocacy platform and challenged others to do the same.
At stake are more than 3,000 mostly family-owned businesses and more than 300,000 jobs.
“Collectively our industries have put together a powerful coalition, with deep grassroots support. And even during these heavily partisan times, we have accomplished something extraordinary: better than 50% support for the CERTS Act in both houses of Congress,” said Larry Killingsworth, UMA President and CEO. “Immediate action is needed to save American jobs; and in the spirit of bipartisanship, UMA is urging Congress to please include the CERTS Act in any economic relief measure.”