Home Hotel industry Hotel associations welcome the bill on infrastructure, with caution

Hotel associations welcome the bill on infrastructure, with caution

The recently passed $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure investment and jobs and jobs act will fund projects like this bullet train project in the central Fresno valley , in California. President Joe Biden said the bill will create millions of jobs and that organizations such as the AAHOA, the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the US Travel Association have supported the bill, except that it would eliminate the employee retention tax credit. Photo courtesy of Patrick Fallon with Getty Images

HTEL AND TRAVEL associations welcomed the adoption of the bipartite infrastructure bill by the House of Representatives over the weekend, saying the measure was long overdue. At the same time, there are fears that the bill will also remove a key piece of federal assistance to businesses struggling to keep their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House passed the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure investment and jobs bill on Friday after months of debate on it and related Build Back Better legislation, which is still pending. The bill, according to the Associated Press, contains:

  • $ 110 billion to repair the country’s aging highways, bridges and roads, including nearly $ 40 billion for bridges alone
  • $ 39 billion to expand public transport systems
  • $ 66 billion to improve Amtrak’s northeast corridor
  • $ 65 billion to improve broadband Internet access
  • $ 7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations
  • $ 65 billion to improve the reliability and resiliency of the electricity grid
  • $ 25 billion to improve airport runways, gates, taxiways and terminals
  • $ 55 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure. This includes $ 15 billion to replace lead pipes and $ 10 billion to combat water contamination with polyfluoroalkyl substances.

“I don’t think it is too much to suggest that we have taken a monumental step forward as a nation. We did something that was long overdue, has been talked about for a long time in Washington, but has never been done, ”President Joe Biden said after the bill was passed. “[The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is] a one-time investment in a generation that will create millions of jobs by modernizing our infrastructure – our roads, our bridges, our broadband, a whole host of things – to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity. And that puts us on the path to winning the 21st century economic competition that we face with China and other great countries and the rest of the world. “

Biden called the nation’s largest infrastructure investment bill in 50 years. To fund the bill, the federal government will use $ 210 billion in unspent COVID-19 emergency aid and $ 53 billion in unemployment insurance assistance that some states have halted, as well as other sources, according to AP.

However, the AAHOA and the American Hotel & Lodging Association have said that the bill, while necessary, comes with another cost.

“No bill is perfect and, unfortunately, the measure will end the employee retention tax credit once President Biden signs the bill,” said Ken Greene, president and chief executive officer. AAHOA leadership, in a statement. “Earlier this year, we successfully argued for its extension to the end of 2021 in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The AAHOA maintains strong opposition to this provision, and we are disheartened to see the efforts small business stimulus disrupted at the cost of the passage of the infrastructure bill.

Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, also said he was disappointed that the infrastructure bill eliminated the tax credit two months earlier.

“A reliable and modern infrastructure is vital for the hospitality industry because it facilitates travel, commerce and American competitiveness. This package would go a long way towards achieving those goals, but it comes at a high cost, ”said Rogers. “Many hotels and their employees are counting on this program, especially given the lingering concerns over COVID-19 and the negative economic impact they are having on hotels. While we strongly support infrastructure investments in our country, struggling hotel workers and small businesses should not be forced to bear this cost, and AHLA will continue to advocate for continued programs that help hoteliers get through. the pandemic. “

The US Travel Association focused on the benefits of the bill in its statement.

The President and CEO of the US Travel Association issued the following statement on the passage by the United States House of Representatives of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

“The passage of the bipartite law on investment in infrastructure and employment is both important and long overdue. The bill will have a profound impact on the way people travel for decades to come. By now making historic investments in our transportation infrastructure, we can emerge from the pandemic with stronger, more modern and more efficient systems that can facilitate a resurgence in travel demand, ”said Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer. the direction of the USTA. “US Travel has been a strong advocate for this important piece of legislation and has championed these important policies for years. The historic levels of investment in travel infrastructure provided by this law, including for airports, railways, highways, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and more, will accelerate the future of travel mobility. .

Dow also pointed out that the bill will create a travel and tourism officer in the transportation ministry, a position that will help coordinate travel and tourism policy across all modes of transportation.

“This role will be vital in rebuilding our industry and preparing to welcome visitors from around the world again,” said Dow.

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