The American people are continuing to speak out against the controversial business lunch deduction that is included in the HEALS Act. Meant to be the next answer to the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing economic crisis, which has seen tens of millions of Americans seeking unemployment, the GOP's proposal included a questionable provision that would allow taxpayers to deduct 100 percent of the costs of business meals through the end of the year if the meals are from restaurants.
That provision – which Sen. Tim Scott introduced and said would "lead to more customers, more opportunities for hardworking waitstaff and kitchen staff, and much needed revenue for small businesses across the country" – was included as other provisions were passed up. The HEALS Act, which is currently undergoing negotiations, failed to extend the Pandemic EBT program, which expired at the end of June and offered a debit-card benefit for households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals. It also did not expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Already gaining opposition from both sides of the aisle, this business lunch deduction is proving to be among the most controversial aspects of the GOP's proposal, and it being debated not only by congressional lawmakers, but also those on social media. After reports of the provision first surfaced earlier this week, Twitter users took to the social media to slam the idea, and the controversy hasn't at all died down. Scroll down to see what social media is saying.
Senate Republicans rejected an extension of a program that expanded food aid to families affected by the coronavirus pandemic in their relief proposal, but included a provision which would double the "three-martini lunch" deduction for business meals. https://t.co/Mrsjwi2urM— Maggie Jordan (@MaggieJordanACN) July 30, 2020
An example of what happens when old rich men make all the rules: a 100% tax deduction for meals where business is discussed but not for the childcare needed to run a business or work at one. Oh, and feeding hungry families? Fuggetaboutit https://t.co/P8agzhV9TS— Zoe Keating (@zoecello) July 29, 2020
Senate Republicans unveiled a new stimulus package bill that seeks to lower unemployment benefits for folks who are already struggling to put food on the table while, infuriatingly, doubling the so-called "three-martini lunch deduction."— 😷 Dump Trump 😷 (@FootyBootyMFDH) July 30, 2020
This is not the Onion. This is how Senate Republicans are responding to the ongoing crisis. https://t.co/sDv0vdoOC9— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) July 29, 2020
Can poor people claim their food is business lunch? Or only people who don't really need it? https://t.co/LOh6bbosFP— Lynn S. Teague (@LynnSTeague) July 29, 2020
Remember how pissed the GOP was when the Obama Administration had muffins served at a meeting?— Luv-a-Birdie (@luvabirdie) July 29, 2020
It’s a shame that COVID-19 has become a political issue based on greed on the Republicans part instead of a humanitarian issue based on saving lives. Priorities are screwed up!— Debbie & Chi's (@dlohalloran) July 30, 2020
This surprises you? The GOP could care less about the average American. They only care about donors and big business. This is another reason this November they will go the way of the Wig Party.— BIGD (@BIGDDB69) July 28, 2020
They’re not expanding SNAP, but they did increase the amount you can deduct on your taxes from 50% to 100% for business lunches aka the classic “three-martini-lunch”
(Wasn’t some rich old guy just complaining about how millennials ruined this too??)https://t.co/8QebJtGPhX— Lana Del Gay 🏳️🌈👻✨ (@McClellandShane) July 29, 2020
"Almost 30 million Americans Didn't Have Enough to Eat Last Week"
The @GOP response = The GOP Coronavirus Relief Bill Doubles ‘Three Martini Lunch’ Deduction.
Vote them all out. https://t.co/qRDAVDBPoQ— Uncle T (@Uncle_Tee89) July 30, 2020
The “three-martini-lunch deduction”?! Don Draper calling! Only in America are single working Mothers and their children foresaken while our Govt. continues to prop up and enable “Mad Men” who spend their days golfing and patting each others backs at $3000 tax deductable lunches. https://t.co/jFXcoT7fpt— Kelly in the Sky with Diamonds ☘️ (@kelbelle10) July 29, 2020
Germany, Coronavirus down 90% since spring
France, down 87% since spring
N Zealand: down 100% since spring
USA: Coronavirus UP 218% since June
Republicans have an answer!
Open the schools, build an FBI Building to help Trump’s hotel & bring back the business lunch deduction pic.twitter.com/zrocIIcoDr— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@riotwomennn) July 29, 2020
Cut emergency unemployment by 66%. Increase business lunch deduction to over $2,000 dollars. Give Boeing another $600 million for troubled F35 program. Is this a Virus Program or a GOP Shopping list.— Iamapeople (@CookdarD) July 29, 2020