facebook linkedin twitter

Democrats Urge Mnuchin to Avoid ‘Unreasonable’ Terms on Airlines

April 6, 2020by Billy House, Bloomberg News (TNS)

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer urged the Treasury Department to move more quickly to help airlines to save industry jobs and refrain from imposing “unreasonable conditions” that might spur some carriers to decline payroll assistance.

In a letter Sunday to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Pelosi and Schumer stressed that provisions of the $2.2 trillion stimulus passed by Congress were aimed specifically at bolstering aviation jobs. The lawmakers expressed concern that guidelines released by the department a week ago didn’t go far enough to safeguard workers.

“We are concerned that Treasury Department’s recent guidance on the ‘Airline Industry Payroll Support’ Program does not fully reflect the intent of Congress,” they wrote in the letter, which also was signed by House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio and Sherrod Brown, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee.

Pelosi and DeFazio have previously said that demands for airline equity stakes in exchange for the $25 billion in grants designed to save jobs are onerous and could prompt carriers to decline the help. The industry faces steep declines in travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Treasury on March 30 released guidelines for how airlines could apply for grants and loans, but stopped short of saying what the minimum stakes would be. It said airlines would be required to propose upfront how the government could retain stakes in their companies, possibly with stock, options or warrants.

Pelosi, Schumer and the others said that some airlines might choose bankruptcy instead of taking payroll grants if the terms are too tough. Similar concerns have been raised by a regional airlines trade group and flight-attendant unions.

“While we appreciate the Department’s desire to seek ‘warrants’ in exchange for payroll assistance, we do not support any effort that would undermine the ability of any aviation worker to receive direct payroll assistance,” the four lawmakers said in their letter.

The stimulus package included provisions for grants of $25 billion to passenger carriers, $4 billion for air-cargo haulers and $3 billion for contractors such as meal providers. They were designed to limit layoffs, and businesses that accepted them had to agree not to cut pay or trim staff through September. The Treasury was authorized to receive “financial instruments” such as equity in exchange.

———

©2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

In The News

Health

Voting

Economy

Biden Admin Stepping Up Community Grants from COVID Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year's COVID-19 relief bill. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her agency on Thursday will begin... Read More

July 21, 2021
by Brock Blasdell
Arizona Outpaces Nation In Post-COVID Private Sector Job Recovery

According to a recently released economic report by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, the state of Arizona has outpaced... Read More

According to a recently released economic report by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, the state of Arizona has outpaced the nation in private sector economic recovery post-COVID. In June alone, Arizona added 26,000 private sector jobs to its economy -- a rate 17% higher than... Read More

Biden's 3rd Trip to Reddish Ohio Pushes His Economic Agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden just can't quit Ohio — even if it rejected him in last year's election.... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden just can't quit Ohio — even if it rejected him in last year's election. The Democrat travels to Cincinnati on Wednesday to push his economic policies. It's the third visit of his presidency to Ohio, the only state he lost... Read More

July 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Congress Searches for Way to Make Supply Chains Resilient

WASHINGTON -- The Senate continued its search Thursday for ways to prevent the kind of devastation brought to U.S. supply... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The Senate continued its search Thursday for ways to prevent the kind of devastation brought to U.S. supply chains by COVID-19. Industry executives told a Senate panel the pandemic exposed U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers to keep the lights on for their businesses. As... Read More

July 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Small Business Advocates Plead for Help Recovering from the Pandemic

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress threw their support Tuesday behind President Joe Biden’s goal of helping small and rural businesses... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress threw their support Tuesday behind President Joe Biden’s goal of helping small and rural businesses but with different perspectives on how to achieve it. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, suggested that Congress provide a dedicated source of funding for the Small Business... Read More

July 12, 2021
by Brock Blasdell
Explainer: Where are America’s Workers?

As the American economic engines churn back to life, one major hurdle stands in the way of our market renaissance... Read More

As the American economic engines churn back to life, one major hurdle stands in the way of our market renaissance - labor. Businesses, especially low wage, low skill businesses, are having a difficult time finding people to work for them.  The consequences of these shortages are... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top