The U.S. Congress is considering a fresh plan to channel billions of stimulus dollars to the restaurant industry, including a bipartisan $68-billion proposal drafted last month.
Legislators are determining “how much is needed,” according to Maryland senator Ben Cardin, who co-wrote the proposal with colleague Roger Wickler from Missouri.
In May 2021, the Biden administration used $28.6 billion from its American Rescue Plan to create the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which received 186,000 applications in its first two days.
Leftover money from the $1.9-trillion rescue plan could be used for the purpose, an administration official told Business Insider.
Any such plan would need 10 Republican senators to back it.
While some Senate Republicans hesitate to spend yet more stimulus money, others are open to the idea.
“I would be open to reasonable discussions in a bipartisan way,” North Dakota senator Keven Cramer said to BI.
“I think there’s some members who are interested in some more COVID relief for restaurants and other things, and that could certainly become part of a package,” Missouri GOP Senator Roy Blunt told BI.
“There are a lot of people who tell us that they’re going to be falling between the cracks—that there was a big, big problem before the new variant—and it’s gotten greater in the last few weeks,” Wyden said.
TREND FORECAST: As we have noted in this Trends Journal, U.S. restaurant business is down sharply from pre-COVID War days and is further deteriorating as fear of the Omicron virus is spread by the mainstream media.
However, we forecast a very sharp sit-down restaurant bounce-back by late June through the year as the COVID War deescalates and the stayed-home-and-restless want to again break free.