Congress should quickly extend $25 billion in new payroll assistance to U.S. passenger airlines furloughing thousands of workers as air travel remains down sharply amid the coronavirus pandemic – US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
According to Reuters, Trump’s new demand came hours after he announced his administration would abandon talks with congressional Democrats over proposals to spend at least $1.6 trillion in additional coronavirus relief funds, a move that appeared to scuttle a new $25 billion bailout for U.S. passenger airlines to keep tens of thousands of workers on the job for another six months.
As the agency reports, Trump later issued a call on Twitter, urging Congress to “IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support.... I will sign now!” he wrote, saying Congress could tap unused funds from prior coronavirus relief to fund airlines and a separate program for small business.
American Airlines AAL.O and United Airlines UAL.O last week began laying off 32,000 workers, but had said they would reverse course if lawmakers reach a deal on a new government program to fund payroll costs. A prior $25 billion airline payroll support program of mostly cash grants approved by Congress in March expired on Sept. 30.
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