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Moolenaar explains why he voted against the Restaurant Revitalization Act

Michigan's fourth district congressman John Moolenaar.
Michigan's fourth district congressman John Moolenaar.

Michigan Congressman John Moolenaar recently voted against legislation that would provide more financial aid to restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill would provide 55 billion dollars of economic relief to restaurants and small businesses in the U.S. 30 million dollars of those funds, if passed into law, will be available to mid-Michigan restaurants.

Congressman Moolenaar says he voted against the legislation because of its potential impact on raising inflation and the inefficiency of federal agencies.

"And the main thing there was that was going to go through the Small Business Administration, which really wasn't equipped to handle that," said Moolenaar. "The bill that was passed was not the right solution. And hopefully, we'll have a chance to take a fresh look at that in the days ahead."

Many restaurants who applied for economic relief during the early days of the pandemic did not receive any assistance or were waitlisted due to high demand. The bill now waits for a hearing in the U.S. Senate.

During WCMU's interview with congressman Moolenaar, he also pushed back against the Justice Department’s announcement to appeal a district judge’s decision to end the national mask mandate on public transportation.

In a written statement, the Justice Department said they will file the appeal if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the mandate is still necessary.

Moolenaar says reinstating the mask mandate would be a huge mistake.

"People have the right for their own health care choices. And I think we are all weary of doing these one size fits all federal mandates and he should simply back away allow people to protect themselves in the best way they and their families see fit," said Moolenaar.

Rick Brewer is a general assignment reporter covering central and northern Michigan for WCMU Public Radio.