Collins urges federal support for nation’s motorcoach industry

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) joined a bipartisan effort to secure federal support for the nation’s $15 billion motorcoach industry, which is almost at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Faced with unprecedented travel restrictions, prohibitions on large gatherings, and mounting trip cancellations, many of these motorcoach businesses are at risk of closing their doors forever unless they receive immediate assistance,” wrote Sen. Collins and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), the chairwoman and ranking member, respectively, of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, in a letter sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

While the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided critical funding for the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to implement loan programs that provide financial support to help industries bridge the coronavirus crisis, Sen. Collins and her colleague noted that the rules for these programs “do not fully recognize some of the unique challenges motorcoach companies face, particularly the high level of capital investment needed to maintain vehicle fleets.”

The lawmakers urged the department to provide specific technical assistance and guidance to the motorcoach industry.

“We must ensure that the motorcoach industry is still there for our communities when this pandemic has passed,” Sen. Collins and her colleague wrote. “This important industry faces a long road to recovery and requires immediate assistance that is flexible and meets both its short- and long-term needs.”