Trump backs plan to give airlines another $25 billion in aid

Trump backs plan to give airlines another $25 billion in aid
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE on Wednesday signaled that he supports extending aid to the country's lagging airline industry as Congress continues to debate how its latest coronavirus stimulus bill will look.

The tentative plan, which has bipartisan support, would give U.S. airlines an additional $25 billion in payroll support that would last through March of 2021. In March of this year, the industry received $32 billion from the CARES Act. The money has gone to supplement airlines' payrolls due to the economic tailspin caused by the pandemic under the condition that companies can't involuntarily furlough employees until after Sept. 30.

However, the industry is not doing markedly better than it was in March, and companies have warned that tens of thousands of workers will be laid off in October if the payroll assistance isn't extended. Airline executives and unions have reportedly requested Congress to allocate another $32 billion to the fund.

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“I think it’s very important that we keep the airlines going,” Trump told reporters at a White House press briefing. “We don’t want to lose our airlines. If they’re looking at that, whether they’re Republican or Democrat, I’d be certainly in favor. We can’t lose our transportation system.”

Also on Wednesday, a group of more than a dozen Senate Republicans penned a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally The Memo: Dems face balancing act on SCOTUS fight MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerJacobin editor: Primarying Schumer would force him to fight Trump's SCOTUS nominee CNN's Toobin: Democrats are 'wimps' who won't 'have the guts' to add Supreme Court seats Republican senator says plans to confirm justice before election 'completely consistent with the precedent' MORE (D-N.Y.) expressing their support for a renewal of the aid.

“Such businesses and their workers are uniquely tethered to air travel and have been and will continued to be significantly impacted by the decline in air travel,” the lawmakers wrote. "Congress should also renew support for our nation’s airports as they continue to facilitate passengers as safely as possible."