President Donald Trump again called for Congress to pass a spending bill that provides aid for airlines in the midst of layoffs, coming hours after he stopped talks with Democrats over a broader stimulus bill following a several-month-long stalemate.
“The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. At around the same time, he also called on Congress to pass a bill that authorizes $1,200 direct payments to individuals.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would provide more support for airlines. An attempt by a key House Democrat to get aid passed failed in the lower chamber, however.
American Airlines, United Airlines, and other airlines announced they would furlough or eliminate tens of thousands of workers. The airlines agreed not to cut any jobs until Oct. 1 under a bill that was passed in March.
Some airline companies said they would reverse furloughing their workers if Congress approves more aid.
“Time already ran out for U.S. airlines and many of our employees, yet there is a glimmer of hope that our leaders in Washington will act and save these jobs before it’s too late to turn back the clock,” Airlines for America, a lobbying group, said in a statement. “Some U.S. airlines may be able to reinstate employees if they receive direct payroll assistance from the federal government soon, but that becomes increasingly challenging with each passing day.”
Regarding the broader stimulus measures, it’s not clear why Trump made his sudden reversal on Tuesday night. Pelosi had been negotiating primarily with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and the two both expressed optimism that negotiations were progressing.
Since the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, governors in numerous states as well as many mayors have implemented lockdown measures, closing businesses, and services in the process. Tens of millions of jobs have been lost so far, and while the United States has successfully regained millions of jobs, the recovery has somewhat slowed in recent weeks. More than 660,000 jobs were added in September, when some economists projected that 800,000 jobs would be added.
Trump, in another Twitter post, said he would sign a standalone bill for stimulus payments.
“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” he wrote, referring to Pelosi while also tagging White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).