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Travel Community reacts to new stimulus package

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are scheduled to vote today, Dec. 21, on a long-delayed second stimulus package after finally agreeing to a deal on Sunday.

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

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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.

US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement that “Washington is delivering a great holiday gift to US businesses and workers after an incredibly challenging year.” .

Being a trend now

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

It’s worth mentioning that this package is half of what the previous stimulus was in large part due to direct payments to most Americans. In March, the government sent $ 1,200 to each eligible citizen; this time, it’s only $ 600.

According to the Washington Post, 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 the agreement includes the airlines to rehire 32,000 workers who have been laid off.

In addition to help from airlines, CNBC reports that the new stimulus package 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 buses. School bus and ferry companies.

“It’s been a tough road to get another round of much-needed legislative relief to move in Washington. We applaud the bipartisan group of senators who pushed for progress, and the leadership of Congress for reaching a bipartisan agreement to produce this much-needed assistance. The agreed provisions will give many companies suffering a bridge to 2021, ”Dow said in a statement.

It was the USTA that predicted that travel would start to change in the second quarter of 2021 if everything fell into place, including another aid bill and a vaccine.

“More will be needed to restore the 4.5 million travel jobs lost in the travel and tourism industry, but the process that produced this agreement is expected to be a positive sign of what will be possible to achieve at the next Congress,” Dow added. quick action on this important legislation. “

President-elect Joe Biden previously said that he considers any agreement reached on a second stimulus package “a down payment,” indicating that he would like to see another round of relief after this one.

“We welcome the fact that Congress has finally done its job and provided fresh relief to struggling sectors of the economy, including a series of provisions that ASTA and its members have been advocating for since April, such as the possibility of have the most affected companies apply for an additional PPP loan, “said Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO, in a statement. “That said, more support for our members beyond this bill definitely [be] necessary. Fortunately, this package is widely seen as a short-term ‘bridge’ to early 2021 and it is clear that the next Congress will address additional aid legislation in the first quarter. Something is better than nothing, and we appreciate the breathing space this bill will provide to the vast majority of our members. But the fight continues, and will continue until the travel agency sector regains health. “

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