November 17, 2021

‘Incredibly vulnerable’: Businesses lobby for billions more in pandemic aid

“We’re still incredibly vulnerable,” said Sean Kennedy, the National Restaurant Association’s executive vice president of public affairs.

The lobbying effort is gaining traction, with Republicans signing on to bills to give grants to restaurants and gyms even as the GOP balks at President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar infrastructure spending plans. Lawmakers from both parties are sympathetic to businesses that were forced to curtail operations, and they say that many didn’t get enough help from earlier aid programs.

“Most of the folks on my side of the aisle are not opposed to some additional funding,” said Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, the lead Republican on the House Small Business Committee, who nonetheless opposes Biden’s spending plans.

Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced a bill that would devote $60 billion to a…

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