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House candidate Amy Kennedy.

Kennedy backs bill creating $120 billion fund for restaurant bailouts

Kim pens Rolling Stone op-ed backing measure

By Nikita Biryukov, August 21 2020 10:10 am

House candidate Amy Kennedy endorsed a bipartisan bill that would create a $120 billion fund to prop up restaurants struggling amid the Pandemic Friday

“Local restaurants are a cornerstone of our community and are vital to our economy in South Jersey. We’ve seen the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on local restaurants across the district and we need federal leaders to take action,” she said. “Providing economic assistance for the independent restaurant industry is one of the most critical investments to help South Jersey recover from this crisis. I’m committed to the people of my community, to serving and providing the relief and protection the people, businesses and restaurants need.”

The bill has won bipartisan support from three Republican members of the House and is cosponsored by 179 Democrats, including Reps. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch), Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes), Andy Kim (D-Marlton), Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff), Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson), Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing).

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis), whom Kennedy is seeking to oust, is not among the sponsors.

“Our dream is not to turn the clock back to February. Instead, there is an opportunity to take the industry into the future and remake it to be stronger, resilient, and more creative. There is a chance to strengthen programs that help restaurants get off the ground, and keep restaurants afloat based on the quality of the food coming out of their kitchen, not the quality of their connection to capital,” Kim and Momofuku founder David Chang wrote in an op-ed published in Rolling Stone. “There are millions of jobs on the line and millions of dreams at stake, but most importantly for you, there’s the restaurant down the street. If we don’t act now, it will turn out the lights for the last time.”

The measure has won greater bipartisan support in Congress’s upper chamber.

Six Republican Senators and 21 Democratic ones have signed on to sponsor the bills

“From Oregon to New Jersey, Amy Kennedy knows how hard it is to imagine our communities without independent restaurants. But without federal assistance, many of these beloved corner coffee shops, diners, and cafes may not be able to reopen their doors,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). “Our bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act will provide $120 billion in relief to these local restaurants to ensure they — and their workers — get the support they need to get through this unprecedented health crisis. And when Amy gets to Congress soon, I’m excited to work with her on this important legislation.”

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