Industries that missed out on
Restaurant owners are asking Congress for a new insurance program to cover pandemic-related losses. Hotel operators are pleading for larger loans. Renewable power developers want money to keep solar installers on the job. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pitching its initiative to rebuild roads and bridges.
It’s a lobbying frenzy stoked by the $2 trillion spending bill signed by President
Lawmakers have made it clear further help is likely.
“What we’ve done now is emergency relief,” Senator
White House officials have compiled lists of requests from government agencies totaling roughly $600 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The proposals include more state aid as well as financial assistance for mortgage markets and the travel industries.
“We are not coming back for a few weeks but I do think we can do our committee work in the meantime,” Pelosi told reporters on a conference call.
Here are some of the industries that will be in line when the legislation comes together:
Restaurants want insurance to cover shuttered eateries
Restaurateurs are looking to Congress to fill the gap for businesses that had business interruption insurance policies but haven’t been able to use them to cover Covid-19 claims. Many of those policies require a property to have suffered physical damage and some contain explicit exclusions for losses tied to viruses.
Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs of the
Restaurants rely on business interruption insurance to weather “acts of God -- force majeure,” said Kennedy, whose group which represents thousands of restaurant owners and chains including
Calls to raise the gas tax for Gateway, other projects
The next stimulus bill should be heavy on infrastructure spending with the construction season approaching, and it should include raising the federal gas tax to pay for it, said
“It’s got to be big, it’s got to be bold,” LaHood said.
States have major projects underway or ready, and federal funds could finish them with state dollars used for other work, LaHood said. The bill should specifically provide money for the Gateway commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River between New Jersey and Manhattan that has been embroiled in a dispute with the Trump administration over funding, LaHood added.
The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Democrat
Avoiding the ‘shovel-ready’ trap
Stimulus packages during the 2008-2009 recession sought to finance “shovel-ready” projects, only to have Obama later concede that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” because of the long lead times needed for major work.
The best way to get projects done is to increase federal dollars for existing programs and funding streams, said
“When you’ve got programs that you know already work, let’s utilize those to get the money out on the street as quickly as possible,” Tymon said.
Doctors and hospitals say they need more money faster
Hospital and doctors’ groups say they’re pushing on two fronts: getting the emergency funds to providers right now and persuading lawmakers to provide more money.
Health organizations are asking the
“More will need to be done to deal with the unprecedented challenge of this virus,” the head of the American Hospital Association, Rick Pollock, said in a statement.
Hospitals and surgery practices in particular have been warning they’re short of cash needed to pay staff partly due to the halt on most elective surgeries, which are more lucrative than emergency services typically related to treatment for Covid-19.
Hotel groups want loans of up to 400% of costs
Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy for the
“We view the bill that just passed as a relief package and in all likelihood we’re really going to have to probably seek replenishment and extension.”
While the package passed last week set aside more than $70 billion to airlines and airports, some portions of the aviation industry weren’t included and may be asking for money in future legislation. For example, there are 256 towers at smaller U.S. airports operated by private companies that could seek federal assistance.
Clean energy backers tie aid to oil purchase
A Trump administration plan to spend $3 billion buying as much as 77 million barrels of crude oil for the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve was cut from last week’s legislation, after Democrats made clear they would
That same trade could arise in another round, and lobbyists for electric vehicles, power storage companies and renewable electricity developers are already preparing.
Wind and solar developers are asking for more time to get projects in service and still collect the full value of renewable energy tax credits that are set to begin phasing down next year.
Direct payments sought for renewables
Some renewable advocates are asking Congress to allow companies to take direct payments from the Treasury in lieu of the existing tax credits, an approach that was used after the financial crisis a decade ago. They say the flexibility is needed as tax equity markets dry up, blunting the effectiveness of existing credits used to finance wind farms and solar arrays.
“Companies are in dire need of emergency relief,” said
Other clean energy advocates are looking for Congress to heighten spending on weatherization, efficiency and research and development programs.
The nuclear power industry is seeking a 30% tax credit for some expenditures converted into grants among other aid, citing “severe financial strain” being experienced among utilities and reactor operators, according to the Washington-based
Auto-parts makers want tariff relief
The trade association representing auto parts manufacturers intends to ask lawmakers to provide relief from tariffs on steel and aluminum products as well as imports from China, said
At a minimum, lawmakers should extend current exemptions to those tariffs for one year so that companies that have obtained waivers already don’t have to re-apply, the association’s president, Bill Long, said in a March 18 letter.
MEMA and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents nearly every major automobile manufacturer, had asked lawmakers to provide loans and loan guarantees as vehicle production comes to a standstill.
While the stimulus plan put “very important credit facilities and other programs in place” to help dealers, automotive suppliers and manufacturers, “we’re going to keep looking at the situation and we’ll have to see what more might be required,” said
Broadcasters, newspapers want help with ad ‘carnage’
Local broadcasters slammed by an abrupt slowdown in advertising say they, too, will seek relief in coming legislation.
“The carnage in the local ad business is the worst in decades, if not ever,” said
Two newspaper trade groups also appealedfor help “to sustain our local news ecosystem.”
“The rapid contraction of advertising markets is dealing a brutal blow,” the News Media Alliance and America’s Newspapers said in a letter to Trump and congressional leaders. “While many publishers have seen increases in online traffic and digital subscriptions, the additional revenue has in no way made up for the sharp losses in ad revenue.”
More help for governors to buy equipment
States as well will be lining up for aid.
“No one in the country has enough gear,” Hogan said at a press conference Monday. “Every governor in America is concerned about that.”
House Democrats -- including Pelosi -- already indicated that they would be receptive.
(Updates with Trump tweet on infrastructure in 18th paragraph and section on hospital aid.)
--With assistance from
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