The United Motorcoach Association launched a campaign Friday during the 2021 UMA Motorcoach
EXPO urging House members to support additional funding for the CERTS grant program in the
upcoming appropriations bill.
“While operators anxiously await Treasury’s implementation of the $2 billion, it is widely anticipated that there may not be enough funding to meet the overwhelming needs of our industry and others,” UMA said in a statement announcing the campaign.
Operators are encouraging their representatives to signal their support by signing on to a letter being circulated by bipartisan group made up of U.S. Reps. Darin LaHood, Albio Sires, John Rose and Alan Lowenthal.
Their letter calls for additional funding for the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) grant program in the upcoming Financial Services Appropriations Bill. Because motorcoach companies were among the first businesses to shut down due to the pandemic — and could be among the last to recover fully — this funding is critical to the industry’s sustainability.
Sending a letter can be done in less than a minute by clicking on this link and filling in a few boxes.
It is critical for operators to act quickly so representatives can sign on to the House letter by April 28, explained Becky Weber, a Managing Director at Prime Policy Group, which lobbies on behalf of UMA.
“The Appropriations Committee is sort of unique in that they require their members to give them their priorities. They have really firm deadlines and forms that they have to submit,” Weber said.
The strategy is to reach out to the representatives who co-sponsored the CERTS Act to request an additional allocation for the fund. Additionally, there are 60 new House members who could potentially be allies for the industry on this important effort.
“If you have a brand-new member of Congress, you need to start from the beginning and educate them on what you’ve been through, the impact of the pandemic, how important your company is to their district and how many employees you have, and try to get them to support your request,”