COVID and Airline Worker Relief Remain Elusive
Despite lack of progress, both chambers of Congress and the White House continue to negotiate on a COVID relief package. Without a consensus on a broader package, several partisan, slimmed-down versions of aid packages have advanced through the legislative process in both chambers from both parties. However, no additional relief packages have been enacted and it is doubtful that a bill will be enacted into law before Election Day.
As you know, the House-passed HEROES Act (H.R. 6800, also known as “CARES 2.0”) contains many provisions that would help protect NATCA’s members during the pandemic. The House also passed a smaller version of that legislation in September, known as “HEROES 2.0.” However, neither bill has advanced beyond the House.
In addition to seeking COVID relief legislation, NATCA continues to stand in solidarity with our aviation union sisters and brothers as thousands of furloughs and layoffs went into effect earlier this month in the absence of a coronavirus relief deal. Just before the Sept. 30 deadline in which airline worker relief expired, House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., tried to bring a stand-alone aid bill (H.R. 8504) for airline workers to the House floor, which NATCA strongly supported. Unfortunately, it was ultimately not considered and thousands of aviation workers remain subject to layoffs. Similarly, on the Senate side, Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, Chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, introduced the Air Carrier Worker Support Extension Act of 2020. The legislation would, if enacted, extend the airline worker Payroll Support Program (PSP) through March 2021.
NATCA continues to advocate on behalf of our members in order to ensure a safe and efficient NAS, and we will continue to support our brothers and sisters in the aviation industry as they face the dire results of inaction on airline worker relief.