Florida Congressmen Want GSA to Adjust Per Diem Rates to Help Tourism Industry Recover From Pandemic

Last week, two congressmen from the Sunshine State continued their push to have the General Services Administration (GSA) “take into consideration the economic impact of the coronavirus when setting future per diem rates for federal travel.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., brought out a bill on the matter on Friday with the support of U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., The congressmen insist the bill will “help support businesses and Florida workers as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic” and will help the travel and hotel industries.

“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,” Posey’s office noted.

“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 Posey on Friday.

“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,” Posey added.

“Tourism is critical to Florida’s economy,” said 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 premier travel destination for business, pleasure, and government travel.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee on Friday. So far, Crist is the only co-sponsor. There is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

KEVIN DERBY
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