Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), issued the following statement after cosponsoring the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Fairness Act, legislation that would assist restaurants decimated by COVID-19 lockdowns while statutorily prohibiting the racist criteria the Biden administration initially used for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund program.
“Forced COVID-19 lockdowns decimated our economy. Especially hit were restaurants which employ nearly 15 million Americans, or 10% of our nation’s workforce. In Arizona, there are nearly 10,000 restaurants employing over 220,000 individuals. Sadly, more than half of restaurant operators said it would be another year or more before business conditions return to normal.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, implemented by Congress in response to the pandemic, was intended to provide over $28.6 billion in emergency assistance to restaurants impacted by COVID-19.
The RRF was meant to be a critical lifeline for restaurants across the country, helping them rebuild from the damaging effects of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Biden administration engaged in rank racial discrimination and illegally prioritized funding based on race and gender, meaning many white owned or male owned restaurants were left out. I firmly stand against racism in this country and condemn the racist policies of this administration.
I am proud to sign on as a cosponsor to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Fairness Act. This legislation would repurpose more than $43 billion dollars of unused, existing COVID-19 funding to provide relief to the 177,300 eligible restaurants that applied for but did not receive RRF funding. Additionally, it would repeal the unconstitutional provision that directed the Small Business Administration to prioritize funding based on factors such as race and gender.
Like most of America, restaurants are trying to return to normal, but they remain in dire need of assistance. Rising food prices caused by Bidenflation and supply chain delays place greater financial strains on restaurants already struggling. Without this legislation, thousands of restaurants may struggle to stay open,” concluded Congressman Paul Gosar.