Pelosi rejects airline stand-alone relief bill without larger coronavirus aid deal

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House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday ruled out a stand-alone bill for additional airline relief without a broader coronavirus relief program.

“I was open to the idea of ​​having a stand-alone bill for airlines,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday. “But there is no stand-alone bill without a bigger bill. Why should we do one and not the other? My comment to the administration was: We are happy to consider what this stand-alone bill would like in a larger bill if there is a larger bill. But there is no stand-alone invoice. ”

TRUMP STANDS OUT AT “HEARTLESS” DEMS ON STALLED-OUT VIRUS RELIEF

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AALGROUPE AMERICAN AIRLINES INC.13.15+0.09+ 0,65%
OFDELTA AIR LINES INC.32,68+0,53+ 1,65%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.37,00+0,62+ 1,70%

Pelosi spoke twice with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday about potential help for the virus-battered industry and is expected to do so again on Thursday, according to his spokesperson.

The California Democrat’s comments are the latest twist in a series of back-and-forth this week on another round of emergency relief for American workers and businesses still reeling from the pandemic and economic recession that followed.

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On Tuesday, President Trump abruptly tweeted that he was halting negotiations until after the November 3 election. Hours later, he began pushing through individual relief bills, including airline and small business aid and a second round of direct checks to many American families.

But on Thursday he appeared to turn the tide, saying the two sides “were starting to have very productive talks” on a more comprehensive deal.

“I stopped the talks two days ago because they were not working. Now they’re starting to work, ”Trump told FOX Business’s Maria Bartiromo. “We’re talking about the airlines, and we’re talking about a bigger deal than the airlines.”

U.S. airlines began cutting 35,000 jobs last week following the expiration of a $ 25 billion bailout fund created earlier this year under the CARES Act. Under the agreement, airlines were prohibited from cutting jobs or reducing workers’ wages until September 30.

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In a letter to congressional leaders Wednesday, airline unions and industry groups urged them to pass a law that would give them an additional $ 25 billion in direct payroll subsidies, allowing them to continue paying employees until March.

“Several US airlines had no choice but to move forward with tens of thousands of days off last week, and many more industry job losses are expected in the coming weeks. if PSP is not prolonged, ”the groups wrote.

While air travel has seen a lukewarm recovery from the height of the crisis, when it plunged 95%, air travel remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

Lawmakers are working on an increasingly tight deadline as they prepare to leave Washington to campaign ahead of the election.

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