After the U.S. House of Representatives approved the $2 trillion coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus package on Friday, which was passed by the Senate late Wednesday night, President Donald Trump has officially signed the bill.
J.D. O'Hara, CEO of Travel Leaders Group, issued the following statement in response to the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: “Travel Leaders Group congratulates the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) on its successful advocacy efforts in winning support for travel agencies and small businesses. We are pleased to see that Congressional leadership and the Administration recognized the vital importance of travel agencies and travel advisors to the recovery of the travel industry and the economy as a whole.
“The CARES Act provides several paths for economic help for travel advisors, including offering a variety of direct business loans, loan guarantees, deferral of taxes, direct cash payments to individuals, as well as substantial expansion of unemployment benefits.
“Now that the legislation has been passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, we look forward to the enactment of the regulations. ASTA is to be commended for spearheading an effective lobbying and grassroots victory. Thousands of travel advisors around the country heeded ASTA’s call and made their voices heard.
ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby said earlier this week, "The fact that travel agencies are included in the airline assistance portion of the bill is a huge win and means that Congress heeded our call to include our members in any targeted travel industry relief.”
The U.S. on Thursday surpassed China and Italy as the country with the most confirmed coronavirus cases, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine reports. There are currently 97,028 cases and 1,475 deaths.