By David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski
WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, Sept 24 (Reuters) – U.S. airline unions expressed hope on Thursday that Congress could strike a deal in the coming days that would provide $25 billion to prevent tens of thousands of furloughs on Oct. 1 after the U.S. Treasury chief said he could not act unilaterally to save airline jobs.
A new Democratic-proposed House bill is expected to provide$2.4 trillion in coronavirus relief that would include funds for airlines and restaurants, a congressional aide said, down from $3.4 trillion approved in May. That figure is still far above the $300 billion Senate Republicans backed earlier this month.
While the White House has repeatedly said it would seek executive action to help airlines if Congress failed to pass a deal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Congress on Thursday he cannot tap unused coronavirus lending authority to provide cash grants to airlines.