Cecil P. Staton
AAHOA President & CEO
In the early weeks of most presidencies, the administration sets out to confirm their Cabinet nominees and debut its policy agenda. For President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, inaugurated amid a raging pandemic and President Trump’s lingering impeachment trial, the circumstances are certainly unprecedented. The Biden-Harris administration has a unique set of challenges to confront in its first 100 days, from rehabilitating political unity to expanding the federal government’s pandemic response.
AAHOA has long been a proponent of bipartisan, pro-small business policies and political, unity. As we saw in the eight-month gap between the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the $900-billion stimulus package passed in late December, partisan disconnect only exacerbates the pandemic’s mounting toll on our industry. The prospects of further pandemic relief are promising under President Biden, who has consistently called for another economic stimulus package. Securing additional relief for the hospitality industry remains a top legislative priority for AAHOA, and we are committed to working with the Biden administration and the 117th Congress to achieve it.
During the coming months, AAHOA will have many opportunities to build new connections, and advocate for relief tailored to fit our industry’s needs. However, there are bound to be policy proposals that run counter to the needs of our members in a Democratic controlled Congress and White House. President Biden, a reputably moderate Democrat, will face pressure from the more progressive wing of the Democratic party, which played a substantial role in securing his election, to roll back certain Trump-era policies. We can expect to see challenges to some provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, among other laws passed during President Trump’s term. Rest assured that AAHOA is closely monitoring any and all proposals in Washington, D.C., and will continue to advocate on behalf of America’s hoteliers.
Going forward, the civic engagement of our AAHOA Members will weigh immensely on the efficacy of our advocacy work. This past year, AAHOA advocates expended time and energy to meet with their members of Congress, work with the AAHOA team, and power our grassroots campaigns, sending nearly 70,000 letters to Congress. I am proud of the work we do as an association, and I look forward to building upon it further. To all AAHOA Members, wherever you are, the AAHOA staff and community are here to support you, your families, and your businesses. Our industry has many challenging days, but an imminent widespread rollout of vaccines and pandemic relief, we can rest assured that travel will resume and recovery will begin.