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Pelosi rules out standalone airline bill without comprehensive COVID relief package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she would not agree to a standalone bill to assist the airline industry without a broader relief package that addresses public health, unemployment, and aid for state and local governments.

Why it matters: Despite Trump formally ending bipartisan negotiations for stimulus legislation via tweet on Tuesday, the president and his White House representatives were still hoping for a standalone airline bailout.

  • Mnuchin discussed such a bill and other piecemeal measures with Pelosi Wednesday morning, but Pelosi was adamant in saying Democrats won't play ball unless the White House agrees to deliver more comprehensive relief.
  • The airline industry has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and mass layoffs began last week.

Between the lines: Even if the White House agrees to more comprehensive legislation, it's unclear how much support the package would have among Senate Republicans. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued a statement on Thursday expressing concern about using taxpayer funds to bail out the airline industry.

What she's saying: "I have been very open to having a standalone bill for the airlines or part of a bigger bill. But there is no standalone bill without a bigger bill. There is no bill," Pelosi told reporters at a briefing Thursday.

  • She said she told the administration: "We're happy to review what that standalone bill would look like as part of a bigger bill if there is a bigger bill."
  • "They have walked away from the whole package."

Go deeper: Why Trump dumped stimulus negotiations

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