Restaurant industry pushing Congress for $60B in federal aid

Restaurant industry lobbyists are asking Congress for $60 billion in federal aid in its budget proposal while pushing back against proposed changes to labor law, The Wall Street Journal reports

The National Restaurant Association, the main industry group, has for months pressed Congress to include money to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which quickly exhausted $29 billion earlier this year before tens of thousands of restaurants could receive aid. In August, the association’s top lobbyist said Congress should include the aid in the budget reconciliation package, citing headwinds from the COVID-19 delta variant and unfavorable tax changes included in the separate bipartisan infrastructure bill

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in June introduced companion bills in the Senate and the House that would have added roughly $60 billion to the restaurant program, but those bills haven’t received floor votes.

The restaurant group is also lobbying hard to exclude a set of tax measures and pro-union provisions from the budget legislation, part of its opposition to Democratic proposals to boost union membership and impose harsher punishments on employers who violate labor laws—collectively known as the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. Read the full story.