Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi addressed the coronavirus stimulus negations during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, October 8, 2020. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 8 (UPI) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she will not agree to a stand-alone measure bailing out the airline industry without a deal for a broader COVID-19 relief package.
"There is no stand-alone bill [for the airlines] without a bigger bill," Pelosi told reporters at a Capitol Hill briefing, adding that Democratic negotiators remain adamant in seeking relief for public health, the unemployed and state and local governments affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The airline industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 and as many as 30,000 workers are facing immediate job losses unless House Democrats, Senate Republicans and the White House can agree on a broader pandemic relief package.
Airlines are seeking $25 billion more to preserve jobs through March 2021.
President Donald Trump, after initially ending bipartisan negotiations for stimulus on Tuesday, partially reversed course on Wednesday, indicating he's willing to sign stand-alone bills on an airline bailout and another sending direct, $1,200 payments to Americans.
Democrats, however, had steadfastly resisted a piecemeal approach to COVID-19 aid, arguing a massive response similar to the $2.2 trillion CARES Act approved in March is urgently needed and accusing Republicans of not appreciating the scale of the crisis.
Talks between Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on a larger bill have been deadlocked for months.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted Wednesday that Pelosi and Mnuchin had spoken twice by phone about a separate aid package for airlines and had agreed to talk again Thursday.