I wanted to update you on where we are in advocating for the industry through the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act 2020 that is currently in both the House (H.R. 7642) and Senate (S. 4150). Good news is we have 118 bi-partisan co-sponsors on H.R. 7642 and 41 bi-partisan co-sponsors on S. 4150. This is all in part because of the hard work our members - like you - have done calling your Congressional delegation. Keep up the good work!
We have about two weeks left until time runs out on another stimulus package as Congress plans to go home for October until the election. While there was a stalemate between the House and Senate, we are hearing there may be negotiations happening now. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said today that the House will stay in Washington until there is a deal. ABA, our outside lobbyists and members will continue to call and follow up with every member of Congress who has not signed on to be a co-sponsor on the CERTS Act. We need you to do the same!
Although neither the House’s HEROES Act or the recently failed Senate COVID-19 relief proposals included the CERTS Act language, the CERTS bills continue to gain steam in both chambers. The chances for CERTS Act language to be picked up in any final legislation to be enacted this year depends on the level of support these bills have, as demonstrated by the number of co-sponsors on the bills.
Congress is set to adjourn by the end of September, in advance of the November elections. However, in addition to determining whether to legislate further COVID-19 relief, Congress must also resolve funding for the government beyond Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The remaining weeks of September will prove challenging as the November elections loom over resolving these matters, and much hangs in the balance in terms of control of the White House and the Senate. We are hearing that if a stimulus package cannot be agreed upon before Congress leaves at the end of the month, they may pass a plan during the lame duck session after the election.
We continue to need your help as we push through the final weeks of September. We need you to:
1. Reach out to your legislators and asked them to sponsor the bill if you haven't already done so.
2. Ask Congressional members again to sign unto the CERTS Act if they have not done so already, explain why it is critical to your business.
3. Share with delegates who have not yet signed on the list of those who have already added their name to co-sponsor.
4. Ask if they would go directly to either Senate Leader Mitch McConnell if they are a Senator or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if they are a Representative and ask for help for the motorcoach industry.
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Again, thank you for all your hard work to help us save the industry. We could not have gotten this far without you.
I wish you and your family continued good health,
Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS
President & CEO
American Bus Association