Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), members of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced the bipartisan Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act, legislation that would help revitalize the tourism and hospitality industries, which were severely impacted by state-mandated closures and continue face the negative effects of inflation and high costs.

“State-mandated closures, inflation, and rising costs have wreaked havoc on communities and small businesses throughout Illinois, especially for our hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors,” said Rep. LaHood. “This bipartisan bill will provide support to affected small businesses and workers, giving them more certainty and helping them accelerate recovery. I will continue to work to reduce the impact of inflation and high costs on small businesses and families in Illinois."

“Our hospitality and tourism industry on the central coast of California continue to be impacted by inflation, labor shortages, and decreased business spending,” said Rep. Panetta.  “Our legislation, the Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act, will help this industry regain lost business spending by extending the full deduction for business meals and restoring the deduction for business entertainment expenses.  Ensuring our local businesses have customers during the week will give workers more regular hours and business owners more certainty, putting them on a path to a full recovery.”

“The business meal will always be a bedrock opportunity for restaurants. We’re grateful to Reps. LaHood and Panetta for continuing to support the restaurant industry by proposing this bipartisan extension of the business meals deduction. At a time when the industry is facing sky-high cost increases and an unknown economic future, any encouragement to partake of our hospitality is appreciated,” said Aaron Frazier, Vice President of Public Policy, National Restaurant Association.

“This critical bill will support small businesses and workers in America’s restaurants, theaters, arts and entertainment venues by removing tax penalties that add to the challenges already plaguing the industry, such as our ongoing workforce challenges,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy. “It will relieve pressure on business travel budgets and directly benefit still-recovering travel workers, particularly food and entertainment service workers, who would see a projected increase in household income of $62 billion over the next two years.”

“Franchise businesses continue to face tremendous cost pressures dealing with inflation, supply chain disruptions, and worker retention. This bill would help ensure business owners will have the necessary resources to carry out their basic business functions and plan with more certainty and clarity as they forecast expenses in an unpredictable economic climate," added the International Franchise Association.

“Business travel is vital to America’s hotel employees as well as the millions of other jobs our industry supports. But post-pandemic business travel recovery remains uneven, particularly in many major cities where employees are concentrated. And with hotel employment projected to be down more than 15% from pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, the Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act is a welcome solution that will encourage business travel and help hotels and hotel employees fully recover. The American Hotel & Lodging Association is proud to support this bill, and we thank Reps. Darin LaHood and Jimmy Panetta for their important work on this issue," said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers


  • The Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act would reinstate the 50 percent Entertainment Business Expense Deduction, and would also extend the 100 percent deduction for business meals (which is reduced back down to 50 percent at the end of 2022) through the end of 2024.
  • No industry lost more jobs during the pandemic than the travel and tourism industry.
  • The Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act would help revitalize small businesses reeling from the pandemic closures and economic challenges, while investing in workers throughout the country.

The full text of the Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act can be read here

LaHood introduced similar legislation in 2020, and you can read more about that here.