The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has released details of what the latest proposal for COVID-19 relief is expected to look like based on reports released Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The skinny bill—as it’s being called—includes no fresh money for the Payroll Support Program for the airlines, that expire at the end of September. Short of new funding for the PSP, the major air carriers in the US are expected to furlough tens of thousands of employees, sending the national unemployment rate higher just a few weeks before the presidential election in November.
Jonathon Freye, NATA’s Vice President, Government and Public Affairs said in a news release that, “Senate Majority Leader McConnell says the Senate will vote on the skinny bill this week, though we are hearing there are a number of Republicans who remain opposed to it. That means, at least as of now, it does not appear that Leader McConnell has enough votes to overcome a filibuster.”
The skinny bill, according to Freye, “proposes to spend roughly $500 billion, and would provide an additional $300 per week in federal supplemental unemployment benefits, as well as a more narrow round of loans under the CARES Act-created Paycheck Protection Program that would be available to businesses with fewer than 300 employees, able to demonstrate a reduction of at least 35% in gross revenue year-over-year. House and Senate Democratic leadership have already voiced their opposition to the measure.”
Both the House and Senate are expected to spend only a limited amount of time in chambers during September before a recessing to join the campaign trail. NATA continues to advocate for large and small aviation business in light of the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.