McSally Introduced A Bill Encouraging Vacations. She’s Received Over $40K From Travel Industry.

Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., joins her staff after delivering her first major speech on the Senate floor, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. McSally is a former Air Force colonel who flew combat missions in Iraq and Kuwait. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By Dan Desai Martin

July 22, 2020

Sen. Martha McSally has received multiple donations from the travel and lodging industries over the past several years.

Sen. Martha McSally’s campaign has received tens of thousands of dollars from political action committees associated with commercial travel in the past two years.

The last of those contributions came just after the Arizona Republican introduced a bill to subsidize vacations for Americans, according to publicly available Federal Election Commission data.

On June 22, McSally introduced the American TRIP Act, which would provide every adult with a $4,000 tax credit to be used for a vacation within the United States. Families would receive an additional $500 tax credit for each child, meaning a family of five would receive a total credit of $9,500.

The bill “is about getting more than 180,000 Arizonans and over 9 million Americans who are employed by the tourism and hospitality industries back to work,” McSally said in a press release at the time.

In this election cycle, the McSally campaign has received $43,500 from PACs of industries that could benefit from the TRIP Act, including commercial airlines, rental car companies, and restaurants, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Her campaign received $18,500 from American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Southwest Airlines; $11,000 from travel and lodging PACs; $5,000 from the National Restaurant Association; and $9,000 from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

A $7,500 donation from the American Hotel and Lodging Association PAC came on June 29, just a week after McSally introduced the American TRIP Act.

McSally has received campaign contributions from these industries in past election cycles, including nearly $20,000 from lodging and tourism PACs from 2015 through 2018.

McSally “wants to give a handout to the travel industry that is bankrolling her campaign,” Zach Hudson, a spokesperson for American Bridge 21st Century, a progressive opposition research organization, claimed in an email on Wednesday.

The McSally campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

McSally introduced the American TRIP Act even as coronavirus cases surged across the country. When she first introduced the bill, there were 2.3 million coronavirus cases in the United States; as of Wednesday, that number stood at more than 3.9 million.

“Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned.

The CDC has recommended to those who do travel to wash their hands frequently, stay at least six feet away from others, and wear a face mask to prevent further spread or infection.

McSally currently faces a tough election race in Arizona. She lost her 2018 race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and was appointed to her current seat in January 2019, filling out the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain’s term.

Her Democratic opponent this time around, former astronaut Mark Kelly, has consistently raised more money than McSally and has led her in 16 of the 17 most recent statewide polls.

Continue Reading: McSally Has Voted Over And Over With McConnell — But Now She Won’t Say If She Supports Him

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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