Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), co-chairs of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus, led 14 of their Senate colleagues in a letter to Congressional leadership calling for additional funding for the Economic Development Administration (EDA)’s programs in future coronavirus economic recovery legislation. The EDA’s programs help drive locally organized economic development projects, develop new industries, build vital infrastructure, and enhance economic drivers like tourism and travel. While the CARES Act eliminated local funding match requirements for EDA programs, additional investments are needed to ensure local communities that are reliant on tourism and travel have the resources they need to safely re-open and plan for the future. The intent of these federal investments is to better prepare rural and urban America for the economic recovery.
“For many years, EDA has provided valuable federal support for a variety of investments, in both rural and urban communities, to help drive locally organized economic development that capitalizes on the unique natural, historic and cultural assets throughout the country,” said the Senators. “States, localities, and economic development organizations need these [EDA] investments to help rehabilitate their economies, expand for the future, and help put more of our citizens back to work. This is especially true where whole industries have been decimated by the inability of travelers, both foreign and domestic, to visit our attractions, hotels, and restaurants. A dedication of additional funds to these important sectors would also go to help in managing the cleanliness and sanitation of their sites to help protect travelers, including educating visitors about the precautionary measures that localities and businesses have put in place.”
“The EDA’s ability and record of investing in vital infrastructure is another reason for why this funding is so necessary,” the Senators continued. “Infrastructure such as broadband, water systems, and transportation projects can have a dramatic multiplier effect in helping reshape and broaden the economic vitality of communities both big and small, including our nation’s many tribal communities…While the CARES Act provided a vital initial infusion of EDA funding, your support of this request will help further diversify economies, assist in needed workforce development, and enhance quality of life through a more robust economic recovery, especially in rural America.”
In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Klobuchar, Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Angus King (I-Maine), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) also signed the letter.
The full text of the letter can be found here.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has continually worked to support Nevada’s tourism and travel industries. She has called for increased eligibility for hotels and casinos for the Small Business Administration (SBA) relief programs and last year she helped secure the reauthorization of Brand USA through 2027. Brand USA is a public-private partnership that enhances tourism and job creation across the country.