|Washington, March 19, 2021 –|
U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Charlie Crist (D-FL) reintroduced their bipartisan legislation to help support businesses and Florida workers as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Their legislation assists the hotel and tourism industry by requiring the General Services Administration to take into consideration the economic impact of the coronavirus when setting future per diem rates for federal travel.
“Coronavirus-related travel restrictions and shutdowns have had a crippling effect on our whole economy, especially the hospitality and tourism industry which is essential to Florida and many other travel destinations around the country,” said Rep. Posey.
“Tourism is critical to Florida’s economy,” said Rep. Crist. “Because of COVID’s heavy impact on travel, it makes no sense to base hotel per diem rates on 2020 numbers, which was obviously an outlier for the industry. I’m proud to work with Congressman Posey on this bipartisan bill to support Florida’s hotel workers and owners to keep the Sunshine State the premiere travel destination for business, pleasure, and government travel.”
Last year Reps. Posey and Crist introduced this legislation and worked with the GSA to set and lock in federal lodging reimbursement rates at the 2020 level based on 2019 data, pre COVID-19 pandemic. Building on that success, Posey and Crist’s new legislation requires the GSA continue to freeze future federal per diem rates at the 2020 level established in 2019 before the pandemic, rather than letting these rates reflect a pandemic-depressed market. Past economic crises show it can take years for the hotel and travel industry to recover to previous levels.
“Setting per diem rates at the 2020 level is one important way that the federal government can help struggling businesses and their employees recover faster, and I thank my Congressman Crist for working with me to reintroduce this legislation,” said Posey.