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Axios' Ina Fried (l) and former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he expects a bipartisan push in Congress to shore up public transportation during the coronavirus pandemic, as it did for the airlines earlier this year and is under pressure to do again.

The state of play: During an Axios virtual event, LaHood underscored that Americans are using cars, rather than public transit, during COVID-19 pandemic. Public transportation as a result has subsequently seen a massive drop in ridership and revenue along with it.

  • LaHood said "places like Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Detroit where they have huge transit, and people really rely on it to get to their workplace, and in many instances to get to the grocery store or doctor's appointment" will be the most in-need.
  • "These transit systems are hurting very, very badly for the fact that they're lacking in farebox resources, they're going to need the help of the federal government," he added.

What to watch: "I believe that this will be an issue that will be taken care of in the next economic stimulus and will be brought forward by members of Congress from all over the country...," Lahood said.

  • "I think most members of Congress recognize that nurses and health care workers and people that have to go to work every day to take care of the patients and the victims of [COVID-19] need good transportation."

LaHood added that Congress should be investing first in traditional forms of transportation, saying that issues regarding bike-shares and ride-shares can be put on the back-burner.

  • "When Congress does help the airlines again, there ought to be help for transit agencies."

Driving the news: U.S. passenger airlines received $25 billion in March to offset lost revenue from lack of travel, especially business travel. The airlines are threatening to furlough close to 50,000 employees this fall, as Congress considers another stimulus package.

Watch the event.

Go deeper

Bipartisan group of lawmakers unveils $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.