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Vulnerable GOP senator proposes big tax credit for Americans to take domestic vacations


Trying to boost the tourism and hospitality industries

Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally (Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona proposed a generous tax credit to incentivize Americans to travel within the United States as a way to boost the tourism and hospitality industries that have been suffering since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Fox News reported.

What's the plan? McSally proposed the American Tax Rebate and Incentive Program Act, also referred to as the American TRIP Act.

The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Service code to create a tax break of up to $4,000 for individuals or $8,000 for joint filers for eligible expenses related to personal domestic travel. The bill would also allow for an additional $500 tax credit per dependent child.

Eligible expenses include food and beverages, lodging, transportation, and live entertainment, including sporting events. Qualifying travel must be at least 50 miles or more from home, within the United States, and must occur after Dec. 31, 2019, and before Jan. 1, 2022.

Why is she proposing this? "The tourism and hospitality industries were among the hardest-hit sectors across the country and their revival is critical to our economic recovery," McSally said in a statement, according to Fox News. "Arizona has lost billions in revenue this year alone due to the pandemic. My legislation will help boost domestic travel and jumpstart the comeback of our hotels, entertainment sectors, local tourism agencies, and the thousands of businesses that make Arizona one of the best places in the world to visit."

What is her re-election outlook? McSally lost her election to Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2018, but was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in December 2018 as a replacement for the late John McCain.

She's now facing a special election challenge from Democrat Mark Kelly. ReaClearPolitics categorizes the race as "leans Democrat," and most polls show McSally trailing significantly.

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