The federal payroll for airlines will expire at the end of next month. Airlines like American and United have already warned that they will have to take tens of thousands of employees off without further federal support. Union groups representing aviation workers have asked Congress to allocate an additional $ 15 billion to extend wages and salaries through September.
Buttigieg noted that airline and airline staff were “very concerned” and that the administration had spoken to Congress to ensure that the airlines were “supported” in the next rescue package.
“We have to do that and get it right,” he said, without going into detail about what this support might look like.
In a broader sense, Buttigieg was also optimistic about working with Congress to find ways to pay for an infrastructure package, noting that the two parties are “gaining momentum and growing” towards a sustainable way of paying for large projects Find.
Buttigieg, who has pulled back on proposals to increase federal gas tax to fund such investments, said the economic urgency of the problem and the “interest rate environment” made it an opportune time to adopt such a plan.
“It won’t be easy here either,” said Buttigieg. “We know what to expect as a country. But I am absolutely thrilled to be doing the work with the Biden Harris administration, which is serious about making the infrastructure a reality.”
Still, bipartisan infrastructure support has not often been translated into action in recent years. Over the past decade, talks on ambitious infrastructure proposals by the Obama and Trump administrations have collapsed or failed. The Biden administration faces the added challenge of having to work with a Congress that is even more polarized after the January 6 uprising and before an impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump in the Senate.
Mississippi Republicans Roger WickerThe outgoing chairman of a Senate committee on transportation who followed Buttigieg in “This Week” pointed out that the partisan difference could affect infrastructure discussions. But he said he was ready to work with Buttigieg and had a phone call to him when he was first nominated for work they wanted to do on roads, bridges, passenger rails and Amtrak.
“I’d much rather work with him on something like this this week – maybe some kind of bipartisan plan his Republican governor in Indiana could carry out to pay for an important infrastructure bill – rather than some really meaningless partisan exercise like impeachment. “