Some Industries Aren't Asking for Peanuts
October 3, 2001
The terrorist attacks of September 11, combined with the declining economy, have created what some lobbyists see as an "opportunity" to claim some part of the federal fiscal-stimulus package of perhaps $100 billion for their industrial clients. The $15 billion bailout speedily won by the airlines kicked off the stampede.
- The American Bus Association wants subsidized loans and fuel tax relief for motor-coach companies to -- it argues -- offset depressed demand for fall-foliage tours originating from New York.
- Lobbyists for General Motors and IBM are out to repeal the corporate alternative minimum tax, contending that would get cash back into the economy.
- The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union wants to pour federal money into state coffers for local infrastructure improvements -- while boosting government jobs.
- Representatives of the ailing restaurant, car rental, travel agency and convention industries are reportedly lined up to assure they are not left out when stimulus subsidies are passed around.
The fight against terrorism is also being invoked to extend and add to farm subsidies. The U.S. House of Representatives will take up today the so-called "Farm Security Act" which proposes to spend $170 billion over 10 years. Political observers predict that the case will be made that a farm bill will be needed to feed the nation's troops and to defend the United States.
Peanut growers, for instants, want $3.5 billion over five years to assist in the war on terror.
Source: Greg Hitt, "Lobbyists Hustle to Shape Stimulus Package," and Editorial, "Nuts to You," both Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2001.
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