National Restaurant Association Statement on RESTORE Act Passage

The National Restaurant Association today commended the United States Senate for its bipartisan support of the RESTORE Act, which would direct fines paid by BP for tourism promotion and economic improvements around the Gulf of Mexico.

“These funds are critical to the long-term health of Gulf Coast communities and businesses looking to fully regain their footing following the BP oil spill,” said Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Restaurateurs depend on travelers, with some segments of the industry attributing as much as 40 percent of annual sales to visitors. This is especially true of restaurants along the Gulf Coast. On behalf of our Gulf Coast area members and state partners, we thank the Senate for its support and urge the House of Representatives to follow suit.”

The RESTORE Act directs 80 percent of any fines and penalties paid by BP to the federal government for the 2010 oil spill go back into the region for environmental and economic improvements. Without Congressional action, the funds would go directly into the federal treasury.

The legislation passed the Senate today by a vote of 76-22. Chief sponsors were Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 960,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. For more information, visit our Web site at