Posted By: Karen Bremer, CAE (deleted) Restaurant Recovery, Federal Legislation, NRA,

All eyes have been on DC this week as movement on the massive pandemic relief package progressed. Lasting well into this morning, an hours-long blitz known as a "vote-a-rama," resulted in several budget amendments to the package.

For instance, the Senate voted to kill the $15 minimum wage proposal, but only for now. The amendment proposed would exclude the wage hike during the pandemic and it passed. However, it is important to note that the votes are non-binding, which means that a proposed increase could still be added into subsequent versions of this reconciliation bill. We will keep you updated to our advocacy efforts and any news on this front as things progress next week.

Following on last night's success, today an updated RESTAURANTS Act was reintroduced in both the House and Senate. The legislation would set aside $120 Billion for restaurant owners to apply for grants to cover eligible expenses retroactively back to February 15, 2020. A bill summary is linked below.

In a statement released by the sponsors of the bill, National Restaurant Association CEO Tom Bene highlighted just how critical this victory is for independent, chain, and franchise restaurants for their economic survival. We are incredibly proud of these efforts and will keep the pressure on to ensure that restaurants receive economic relief. We will bring updates and action alerts to you next week as COVID relief talks move to the House.

WE NEED YOUR HELP to stay loud about both industry relief and important issues like the devastating impacts a federal $15/hour minimum wage with no tip credit. Please click the link below to fill out a short form for your Senators and Representative to have your voice heard! Share the link with your friends and on social media. Help us ensure that restaurants can continue to recover and that the tip credit is preserved!