Schumer pushes back on relief for airline industry

Schumer pushes back on relief for airline industry
© Bonnie Cash

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' Senate Democrats call on Trump administration to let Planned Parenthood centers keep PPP loans States, companies set up their own COVID-19 legal shields MORE (N.Y.) is pushing back on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' GOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order MORE’s anticipated request for economic relief for the airline industry, which has been hit hard by the spread of coronavirus and waves of flight cancellations.

U.S. airlines on Monday requested a $50 billion bailout to make up for the precipitous drop in air travel amid the coronavirus emergency. But Democrats are saying that priority should be placed on ordinary Americans who miss work instead of multibillion-dollar companies. 

“If we’re going to follow up the House bill with another major economic stimulus package, which we must, our major focus cannot be based on bailing out airlines, cruises and other industries,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “We must first prioritize economic solutions that are focused on workers and their families.” 


Schumer urged Congress to instead focus on legislation to “fix our broken unemployment system,” shore up the public health system and get money to small- and medium-sized businesses facing a shortage of cash. 

“Let’s remember, corporations are not people. People are people,” he said. 

Other Democrats have also expressed skepticism about bailing out the airlines.

“We need to focus this on the people who are impacted,” said Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate votes to reauthorize intel programs with added legal protections Senators request emergency funding for postal service in next coronavirus bill On The Money: Black workers may face disproportionate COVID-19 risk | Trump pick for pandemic response watchdog vows independence | Stocks inch higher as oil prices rise MORE (D-Mont.). “I think you focus on the people who are unemployed then you take a look at the airlines." 

“If they’re not domiciled in this country, we don’t bail them out,” he added.


Trump at a press briefing Tuesday doubled down on his request to help the airlines. 

“The airline industry will be in great shape,” Trump pledged.

“We’re going big,” he later added. “We don’t want airlines going out of business. We don’t want people losing their jobs and not having money to live.” 

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinFive questions about the next COVID-19 relief package Senate Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Planned Parenthood loans The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE told reporters Tuesday morning that the airlines are in danger of grinding to a halt and said “we want to maintain for critical travel the right to have domestic travel.”