Loggers and haulers benefit in latest COVID stimulus package
$200M provision in the massive bill is meant to assist the industries
MADISON, Wis. -- American loggers and log haulers will benefit from a $200 million provision intended to aid forestry businesses which experienced a decline in revenues of 10 percent or greater in 2020. The bill was signed under protest by President Trump after passage by an overwhelming majority in Congress.
The bill was negotiated by a bipartisan congressional coalition. President Trump threatened to veto the bill, arguing that it should have distributed $2,000 to most Americans. The new law provides $600 per person, an amount negotiated by the bipartisan coalition.
All five of the state’s Republican members of the House and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson voted against the measure despite support from most of their GOP counterparts from other states. The $200 million measure benefiting loggers was introduced by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a Repulican.
The logging language in Title 3 of the massive law reads: “....$200,000,000 shall be used to provide relief to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that have, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, experienced a loss of not less than 10 percent in gross revenue” in 2020 compared to 2019.
Passage of the law was encouraged by the American Loggers Council which said,
“Logging companies are generally small, family-owned businesses that have high operating costs and are more susceptible to prolonged periods of economic decline. Many are in danger of permanent closure.”
Previous relief measures included broad aid for other small businesses including
Christmas tree farms tree nurseries, but offered no funding for logging business and tree haulers.
Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Ron Kind said, “While I’m glad to see Congress come together and work across the aisle to pass this legislation, this process was unnecessarily painful, and relief for Wisconsinites is long overdue.”
Wisconsin Republicans who opposed the measure criticized its length and complexity.