Bipartisan Coronavirus Relief Bill Unveiled with Support for Unemployment and Airlines

By Kurt Stolz on 15 December 2020
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Old Senate chamber in the Capitol

A bipartisan group of senators and congressmen introduced a $908 billion coronavirus relief package Monday.

Senator Joe Manchin, introduced two bills on the Senate floor, a comprehensive $748 billion measure and an additional $160 billion measure for state and local funding by placing two thick stacks of paper on the podium

The action is considered a starting point for negotiations.

Saying that bipartisanship is “alive and well” in Washington, D.C., Senator Susan Collins called the bill a “Christmas miracle.”

Collins also said that she hoped that both the House and Senate leadership as well as the White House would use the bills “as the basis for a Covid relief package that is urgently needed.”

Among other things, the bipartisan bill would extend all unemployment benefits by 16 weeks including enhanced federal benefits of $300 per week during that time frame.  It would also extend the ban on evictions through the end of January 2021.

The bill includes assistance for airlines, airports, and the nation’s railroad, Amtrak. It includes direct payroll support to U.S. airlines and therefore will protect the jobs of flight attendants, pilots, gate agents, mechanics, and others in the industry.

Airlines for America, an industry trade group representing major U.S. airlines, said that the industry fully supports the new bills.

“We ask Congress to pass the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 to preserve the jobs of airline employees,” said Nicholas Calio, the group’s CEO. “We strongly encourage the Senate and the House to approve this legislation swiftly and for the President to sign it into law.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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