Airlines, unions lobby hard for federal aid amid looming job cuts


Air carriers and their unions on Tuesday ratcheted up pleas for an extended COVID-19 aid package to forestall layoffs, but a sudden Supreme Court vacancy and partisan rancor are dimming the prospects.

“At this point, it looks like everything is pretty much frozen,” said former Sen. Byron Dorgan, who served on the committee overseeing transportation policy. “It doesn’t look like anything is going to happen.”

Weeks of lobbying, trips to the White House by airline executives and the prospect of massive job losses in states where incumbent Republican senators face tough reelection challenges — such as Georgia, Arizona and Colorado, all home to airline hubs — haven’t resulted in movement.

The frustration was evident at a press conference Tuesday outside the Capitol, held by a group of airline executives, union leaders and lawmakers from both parties.

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