AUSTIN (KXAN) — Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) gave details Thursday outside iconic Austin honky-tonk Broken Spoke about the Save Our Stages Act.
Rep. Williams’ press conference highlighted “the urgency of providing relief to independent live music venues” through the $10 billion bill that’s sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Sen. John Cornyn, and was first-introduced July 22 to the Senate and July 27 in the House of Representatives by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont). It’s currently in committee in both the Senate and House.
Rep. Williams wanted to make it clear that the bill is bipartisan, and that’s “something you don’t hear much in Washington.”
“It’s vital these venues have a flow of capital during this time while they are shut down,” Rep. Williams said. “This is a lifeline.”
Rep. Williams said there are over 100 co-sponsors of the bill in the House of Representatives. The bill is designed for music venues to pay for necessities like rent, utilities, personal protective equipment and maintenance, he said.
James White, owner of the Broken Spoke, opened the press conference and explained what the bill means to people in the entertainment and live music industry.
“The Broken Spoke is a mom-and-pop operation,” White said. “We’ve been here for 55 years, but now we’re closed for business. It really upsets me, it’s a heartfelt thing. Way back in 1964, I came underneath that big ol’ oak tree out there, and I walked across the dirt parking lot, and I visualized a place like no other.”