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Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

American Airlines and United Airlines said they will begin furloughing 32,000 employees Thursday, as federal aid that propped up the industry during the pandemic expires, with no deal in sight for an extension.

Why it matters: As many as 50,000 workers across the industry face immediate job losses unless lawmakers and the White House can agree on a broader pandemic-relief package that includes more federal aid for airlines.

Where it stands: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called off Wednesday night's scheduled vote on a $2.2 trillion relief package, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told airline executives the two sides were still trying to negotiate a bipartisan deal.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Democrats' proposal "outlandish."

What they're saying: CEOs of both airlines said they would reverse furloughs and recall employees if Washington comes up with a deal for $25 billion in airline aid "over the next few days."

  • “It shouldn’t be this hard to do the right thing," said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, noting there has long been bipartisan support for extending the payroll support program for the airline industry.
  • "It seems Washington just woke up to this deadline. There is now real momentum to negotiate a COVID relief bill, including an extension of our Payroll Support Program."
  • Nicholas Calio, president of Airlines for America, said he was hopeful, but not confident, a deal could be reached.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has urged White House negotiators not to cut a deal with Democrats on new coronavirus stimulus before the election.

Driving the news: McConnell informed Senate Republicans of the move at a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, two people familiar with his remarks tell Axios. McConnell's remarks were first reported by the Washington Post.

2 hours ago - Health

Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.