Congressman Payne Says Airline Employees Deserve More Funding During Pandemic

Rep. Payne, Jr. Supports More Funding for Airline Workers During Global Pandemic    

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. wants to make sure airlines retain as many workers as possible during the current coronavirus public health crisis.  Rep. Payne, Jr. wrote a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate yesterday to encourage them to support an extension of the Payroll Support Program, which was created in the CARES Act stimulus funding package to keep airline workers employed during the global pandemic.  In the letter, Rep. Payne, Jr. said the extension is needed because most economic experts predicted the U.S. airline industry would be back to normal in September.  Unfortunately, the coronavirus continues to cripple air travel and the International Air Transport Association predicted that it won’t recover until 2024 or later.

“It is critical that Congress support the men and women of the airline industry while the pandemic is still raging,” wrote Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.  Without an extension of the Payroll Support Program, many of the 750,000 airline workers covered by it will lose their jobs or be placed on involuntary furlough.”

Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. represents Newark Liberty International Airport with Rep. Albio Sires.  The letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.  The letter was co-signed by 11 members who have some of the some of the nation’s largest airports in their districts, such as Rep. Mike Quigley and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi who represent O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and Rep. Gregory Meeks who represents John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.  The full letter is listed below.

####

September 22, 2020

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                            The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Speaker                                                                             Majority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                                          U.S. Senate

H-232, U.S. Capitol                                                           S-230, U.S. Capitol

Washington, D.C. 20515                                                   Washington, D.C. 20510

 

 

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy                                       The Honorable Charles E. Schumer

Minority Leader                                                                 Minority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                                          U.S. Senate

H-204, U.S. Capitol                                                           S-221, U.S. Capitol

Washington, D.C. 20515                                                   Washington, D.C. 20510

 

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer:

Thank you for your continued leadership as the nation grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As you continue negotiations on COVID-19 relief legislation, we strongly urge you to extend the successful Payroll Support Program (PSP), included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which has kept hundreds of thousands of airline employees from unemployment during these very difficult times. Our districts represent the busiest passenger airports in the nation, with hundreds of thousands of employees dependent on the aviation industry. Nationwide, there are approximately 750,000 airline employees covered by the PSP, located predominantly at major airline hubs.

Though the PSP has successfully kept airline employees on payroll, the program is set to expire at the end of September and must be extended. The CARES Act was signed into law at a time when air travel plunged to historic lows and there was an assumption that air travel would rebound in the months after. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to ravage the nation, and air travel has not fully recovered. In fact, the International Air Transport Association recently predicted that air travel will not return to normal levels until 2024 at the earliest.

Without an extension of the PSP, many of the 750,000 airline workers covered by the program will lose their jobs or be placed on involuntary furlough. United Airlines has already announced that it will furlough approximately 16,000 workers, or 20 percent of its frontline employees, on October 1. American plans to furlough 19,000 employees on October 1, and we expect more job cuts to be announced in the coming weeks.  It is critical that Congress support the men and women of the airline industry while the pandemic is still raging.

Again, we respectfully urge you to include an extension of the PSP in COVID-19 relief legislation to ensure stability in the U.S. airline system. Thank you in advance for your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

Donald M. Payne, Jr.

Member of Congress

 

 

/s                                                                                 /s

Mike Quigley                                                              Ruben Gallego

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

/s                                                                                 /s

Val B. Demings                                                         Albio Sires

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

/s                                                                                 /s

Raja Krishnamoorthi                                                  Darren Soto

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

/s                                                                                  /s

Jackie Speier                                                               Stacey E. Plaskett

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

/s                                                                                /s

Adam Smith                                                              Alma Adams

Member of Congress                                                 Member of Congress

 

/s

Gregory W. Meeks

Member of Congress

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