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Politics Airline industry applauds Democrats for including aid in coronavirus relief package

04:40  29 september  2020
04:40  29 september  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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A push for billion in additional aid to protect airline jobs through the end of March gained steam with the backing from Republican senators. More than a dozen Republican senators on Wednesday backed billion in additional federal aid for the airline industry as a spike in coronavirus cases in

Democrats on both sides of Capitol Hill are pushing to add climate change provisions to the third aid package for people and industries affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. But it’s unclear whether they have the political leverage to make those ideas stick—at least not yet.

The airline industry applauded House Democrats for providing relief for the devastated sector in their $2.2 trillion coronavirus package unveiled on Monday, but stressed the urgent need for the bill to pass Congress.

a large passenger jet flying through a cloudy blue sky: Airline industry applauds Democrats for including aid in coronavirus relief package © getty Airline industry applauds Democrats for including aid in coronavirus relief package

Under the terms of the CARES Act relief funding that passed this spring, airlines are prohibited from firing or laying off any employees until Oct. 1. Once that deadline passes, airlines are expected to lay off tens of thousands of employees.

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CNBC's Phil LeBeau reports on the latest potential aid package for the struggling airline industry , which saw passenger numbers plummet because of the coronavirus pandemic. The added GOP support increases the likelihood that the funds get included in the next big aid package to help the

More government aid and health checks for travelers will be needed to get the airline industry through the coronavirus crisis, according to longtime discount- airline investor Bill Franke. Air travel in the U.S. has plummeted by more than 95% from a year ago, federal data shows, whiplash for airlines that

The Democrats' package includes $25 billion to stave off these layoffs, as well as $3 billion for airline contractors.

The industry group Airlines for America (A4A) has lobbied for this $25 billion inject, which they say can postpone any job cuts at least until April, and Republicans and President Trump have voiced their support for this provision. The funds would provide a six-month extension of the CARES Act's Payroll Support Program.

"We appreciate that the House HEROES Act prioritizes extending the Payroll Support Program for U.S. airline industry workers. We applaud the congressional leadership for acknowledging the urgency of the situation and are grateful for the continued strong, bipartisan support from Congress, but time is running out to protect the jobs and livelihoods of tens of thousands of U.S. airline employees," A4A CEO Nicholas Calio said in a statement on Monday.

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He added, "We remain hopeful that Congress will act swiftly before the current Payroll Support Program expires on September 30 to preserve the jobs of these flight attendants, pilots, mechanics, gate agents and others who are truly the backbone of our industry."

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, called the package "a significant and serious move in negotiations" and encouraged immediate bipartisan agreement.

"It makes agreement on a full relief bill very possible in time to save our jobs. Everyone agrees the loss of aviation jobs, air service to our communities, and a dismantling of critical infrastructure cannot happen weeks before this election. Inaction is not an option," she said in a statement.

The Air Line Pilots Association similarly said it "implores Congress to move legislation to extend the PSP by any means possible before October 1."

The Democrats' package is a pared-down version of the Heroes Act, which the House passed in May. That package did not provide any additional funding to airlines but included a provision that would have prevented airlines from furloughs if they were still using CARES Act money.

The package also provides $13.5 billion for airports, which is the dollar amount requested by the industry group, Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA).

"American airports thank House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and their allies in both parties for providing another round of relief funding to protect workers, make debt payments and keep these essential travel hubs operating as normal," ACI-NA CEO Kevin M. Burke said in a statement on Monday.

Anxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID aid

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The CARES Act relief package allowed airlines to continue serving lower-traffic destinations, but American Airlines announced that it It will vote on the restructuring process on August 25. Virgin Atlantic has not entered administration in the UK, but is appealing for financial aid in its home country.

A fourth coronavirus -related relief package already is under discussion. Key provisions will have an effect for Californians. Still, Newsom said more federal assistance could be needed in just a matter of weeks because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus in California and the rest of the United States

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says any bipartisan stimulus deal will include more $1,200 direct payments for Americans .
Mnuchin said any coronavirus aid agreement would include another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for Americans.In an interview on Fox Business, Mnuchin reiterated the Trump administration's opposition to the $2.2 trillion economic aid plan that Democrats are pressing for and said they prioritized getting people back to work instead.

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