U.S. President Donald Trump said late on Tuesday (October 6) Congress should quickly extend a $25 billion bailout to U.S. passenger airlines furloughing thousands of workers as air travel remains down due to the coronavirus.
His demand came after he said his administration would abandon talks with congressional Democrats over proposals to spend at least.$1.6 trillion in additional coronavirus relief funds.
Later, he took to Twitter, urging congress to quote "immediately approve 25 Billion dollars for airline payroll support,' saying they could tap unused funds from prior coronavirus relief for airlines.
American Airlines and United Airlines had already begun laying off 32,000 workers last week, but said they would reverse course if lawmakers reached a deal.
A prior $25 billion bailout for U.S passenger airlines expired at the end of last month.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last Friday expressed support for a standalone bill to keep airline workers on the job if a broader package could not be reached.
Congress is expected to return to session on October 19.