House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said she is willing to pass a stand-alone COVID-19 airlines relief bill after businesses announced mass-furloughs due to reduced demand.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Republicans have disagreed on the size of a new pandemic relief bill, and she’s refused White House urging to pass smaller bills with popular items like airlines assistance.
“The massive furloughs and firings of America’s airline workers jeopardize the livelihoods of tens of thousands and threaten to accelerate the devastating economic crisis facing our nation,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“Today, I am calling upon the airlines to delay their devastating job cuts as relief for airline workers is being advanced in Congress.”
After months of congressional gridlock, American Airlines said this week it would furlough 19,000 workers. United Airlines said the company would furlough 13,000.
Pelosi announced her new position as national news coverage focused on President Trump’s diagnosis with the serious respiratory bug, which since March infected 7.2 million Americans and killed more than 207,000.
In her statement, Pelosi said, “We will either enact Chairman DeFazio’s bipartisan stand-alone legislation or achieve this as part of a comprehensive negotiated relief bill, extending for another six months the Payroll Support Program. This initiative is focused solely on the workers, keeping them on the payroll so these workers maintain their critical training and certification requirements unique to their industry.”
She said, “As relief for airline workers is being advanced, the airline industry must delay these devastating job cuts.”
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