#ExtendPSP Is on Track - Call Congress
February 6, 2021
AFA President Sara Nelson testified today in front of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee during a hearing titled "Protecting Transportation Workers and Passengers from COVID: Gaps in Safety, Lessons Learned, and Next Steps. "You can watch the entire hearing here—Sara’s opening remarks are at the 1 hour mark. She testified on the need to extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP), vaccine prioritization for aviation workers, and said:
“Aviation is critical for vaccine distribution, and the people on the frontlines of aviation need priority vaccination. We encourage the federal government to set up vaccination clinics at major airports to make it easy for airline crewmembers to access both their first and second doses. This will maximize the efficacy of the vaccine and prevent wasted doses.”
“Until we can contain the virus and fully open our economy, the airline industry will continue to operate at massive losses. The good news is that with the support of this committee and Chairman DeFazio leading the way, we created the first federal relief program that is truly Workers First...We need an extension of the PSP through September 30, 2021, with $15 billion in payroll support – and we thank this committee for promoting this as part of the COVID relief package Congress is working to secure in the coming weeks for the American people.”
Two key lawmakers, Chairman Peter DeFazio and Chairwoman Maria Cantwell spoke on the record about the need to #ExtendPSP and that they will include it in the current COVID Relief bill process that the Senate is advancing right now. Additionally, several Members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, spoke up during the hearing about the critical need to Extend PSP and their support for it.
"Congress has twice acted to provide critical relief to airline workers, pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, and will continue to do so as part of this budget reconciliation," said Senator Maria Cantwell. This is extremely important as Senator Cantwell is now the Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over aviation.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio also made clear that he supports extending PSP after some confusing remarks from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “Congress is an independent entity, we are going to accomplish [Biden’s] goals and some of our own...we need an extension of PSP, as well as aid to transit, bus, airports, contracts,” said Rep. DeFazio
We are on a very solid path to #ExtendPSP through September 30, 2021. But as we learned too many times last year, it’s not over until it’s law. We have to keep up our calls and letters to Congress!
TAKE ACTION: Call, Write Congress
"Hello, I am a constituent calling to ask [Representative] /[Senator] to help save my job as an essential worker. Pass COVID Relief and extend the Payroll Support Program for essential aviation workers through September 2021. Keep us connected to our jobs, our paychecks, and our healthcare. Thank you for your urgent attention to this."
Write Congress to #ExtendPSP >
P.S. Aviation is critical for vaccine distribution, and the people on the frontlines of aviation should be prioritized for the vaccine to assist in public health efforts. Write a letter to your governor and ask that Flight Attendants be included in Tier 1b >