America has found itself in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis the likes of which many have not experienced in their lifetimes. There are those who run from crisis, those who run toward it, and those who find themselves right in the middle without any say in the matter.
Today, many of those in the middle are the men and women stocking, sanitizing, and serving our communities in grocery and convenience stores throughout the country. These employees play a critical role in our nation’s food supply chain, and reliable access to healthy food is essential for all Americans.
To thank them for working around the clock and putting
themselves at risk throughout the pandemic, I introduced the Giving Retailers and Our Convenience Employees Relief Act, or GROCER Act.
The GROCER Act would alleviate the federal tax burden for grocery store and convenience store workers from February 15, 2020 to June 15, 2020 for individuals making less than $75,000. The bill also gives the Treasury Secretary the discretion to extend this benefit for an additional three months.
Building on the idea of the GROCER Act, I also recently introduced the AG CHAIN Act. This bill extends the federal tax holiday benefit to include the entire food supply chain— restaurants, meat packing plants, and many other agribusinesses. The AG CHAIN Act would also include a payroll tax holiday for these individuals.
Food security is national security, and employees in the supply chain are working overtime to ensure crops are harvested, shelves and coolers are stocked, and Americans have food on the table. These men and women provide a critical service day in and day out and I am particularly grateful for their commitment to feeding and fueling the nation as we continue to address the challenges associated with COVID-19.
Though Pennsylvania is reopening, we will still feel the economic impact of this pandemic for some time. It is my hope to connect with people like you to learn more about what can be done to ease that burden as our communities continue to heal.
This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s July 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.