Chuck Schumer Cosponsors Restaurants Act of 2020, Support Exceeds 38%

Since our analysis one week ago, cosponsorship of the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020 has increased by 14 lawmakers in the House of Representatives, up from last week’s 163 to today’s 177.

An unprecedentedly large $120 billion stimulus package focused entirely on the food service industry, the bill will prioritize funds for small and independently operated restaurants.

Another 41 cosponsors from today’s 177 are needed in the House of Representatives in order to gain a majority vote, which would pass the bill to the Senate.

The bill also gained an additional Senator this week. Today, the influential Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced his cosponsorship.

“I am proud to stand with the Independent Restaurant Coalition and support the Restaurants Act to give restaurants the relief they need to weather this crisis so they can eventually fully reopen and bring back to work millions of workers who have lost their jobs,” said Schumer.

Last week, there were 25 Restaurants Act cosponsors in the Senate. Schumer was its lone addition this week.

In total, Senate plus House cosponsors total 203, or 38% of the 535-member bicameral legislature.

During the second quarter, restaurants and bars were responsible for a $220 billion reduction in GDP. Those businesses received just $42 billion of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Larry Kudlow, Director of the White House National Economic Council, said the White House would support the Restaurants Act of 2020.

U.S. residents who support the bill should contact their elected representatives and indicate their support. Readers may also e-sign a petition in support.

The rate of COVID-19 hospitalization has fallen since July 24. Currently, 45,826 patients are hospitalized with the disease. The CDC has recorded 5.2 million cases and tallied 166,317 deaths.

OpenTable’s CEO reiterated her forecast this week that at least 25% of restaurants will permanently close this year, which is conservative in our analysis.

Graphic by The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic (CC BY-NC-4.0)

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