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Biden, travel leaders praise stimulus approval

President-elect Joe Biden and leaders of the travel community had nothing but praise for Congress, which passed the second stimulus package Monday night to combat the coronavirus pandemic before leaving for the holidays.

“I am encouraged to see members of Congress heeding that message, walking across the aisle and working together. This is a model for the challenging work that our nation faces, “Biden said in a statement, adding again that” the work is far from over. Immediately, beginning in the new year, Congress must get to work supporting our COVID-19 plan, to support struggling families and investments in jobs and economic recovery. There will be no time to lose. “

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

The $ 900 billion package is expected to help the US economy get into the spring, when the hope is that the two COVID-19 vaccines approved earlier this month and now distributed nationwide will help mitigate and eradicate the spread of the virus. .

This is the second-largest aid package ever provided by the federal government, second only to the $ 1.8 trillion CARES Act that was passed in March, when the virus began to decimate the economy.

“This is just the beginning,” said International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Sara Nelson, in a statement in support of the bill. “We have a lot more work to do. But today, it should be clear that we can. This bill is a down payment on many of those priorities, but much more will be needed in the coming year.”

The aid package includes $ 284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program that was created in the CARES Act to help small businesses. It also includes $ 15 billion to restore payroll refunds to airlines, which expired on October 1 and resulted in thousands of layoffs and licenses by domestic airlines. Part of this new stimulus agreement includes airlines to rehire 32,000 workers who have been laid off. It also includes $ 1 billion for airline contractors, $ 2 billion for airports and concessionaires, $ 14 billion for transit, $ 10 billion for state highways, $ 1 billion for Amtrak, and $ 2 billion for private airline companies. buses, school buses and ferries.

USA Today reported that in a joint statement to all United Airlines employees Monday, company CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart praised the bill, which they said will allow them to offer temporary employment to thousands. of workers without permission.

“Our thanks to all the elected officials who helped make this happen; we also know that many of you lent your voice to the fight, so thank you too,” they said.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker also sent a video message to his team, saying, “Thankful that our Congressional leaders have reached a bipartisan agreement on COVID-19 emergency aid that would help us restore the pay and benefits for our team as of December 1 “.

Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, said in a statement: “This short-term aid package is a vital step in helping the hospitality industry survive this crisis. The proposed measure provides a temporary relief over the next several months and will help thousands of hotels stay open and retain employees. “

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