So they finally agree on something?
“Bipartisan” isn’t a word you hear much nowadays, but two senators on opposite sides of the aisle introduced a bill aimed at bailing out gyms. That’s right. Gyms — maybe even the one where you work out! Who the fuck would want to vote against gyms? Oh, yeah, maybe him.
The bill, dubbed the GYMS Act and introduced by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), aims to give $30 billion in relief to struggling gyms, which suffered months of lockdown during the height of COVID-19. A companion House bill, also a bipartisan effort, was introduced in February by Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
“Gyms and fitness facilities across the nation had to close their doors last year to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” Moran said.
“It’s critical we support the fitness industry to help bring back jobs and provide Americans with opportunities to improve their fitness during this public health crisis,” Duckworth said in a statement. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill that will help ensure gyms and fitness centers have the resources they need to get to the other side of this pandemic.”
And what are those resources? Well, if passed, they include funding for payroll, rent, utilities, mortgages, PPE, and more.
Last year’s damage is hard to ignore, though. Nearly 20 percent of gyms in America are now shuttered, over a million jobs are gone, major fitness companies filed for bankruptcy, and the industry lost billions of dollars.
But with states loosening restrictions and new CDC guidance that vaccinated Americans can take off their masks in most indoor and outdoor settings, gyms are sure to start filling up again (in fact, the boom has been expected for months).
And being spotted $30 billion (get it?) certainly ain’t bad for business.