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What's In the Deal?

Two days ago I noted Congress Reaches a Virus Deal.

The bill is a monstrous 5593 pages long so no one really knows all the details of what in the bill except perhaps for the lobbyists who wrote it.


I did list 20 things in the bill and one of them was point four: $15 billion for airline payroll support.

Airlines to Bring Back Thousands of Workers 

The Wall Street Journal reports Airlines to Bring Back Thousands of Workers After Passage of Covid-19 Aid Bill.

Airlines are preparing to call back tens of thousands of workers they let go in October now that Congress has approved government assistance to cover carriers’ payroll through the end of March. The question is how long employees will be able to keep their jobs.

The $900 billion relief package for households and businesses battered by the coronavirus pandemic includes $15 billion for airlines to pay all their workers. Carriers are hoping—for the second time—that the government assistance will serve as a bridge through a rocky period.

The funding bill, which President Trump is expected to sign, covers airline employees’ wages and benefits retroactively from Dec. 1 through the end of March, and bars airlines from furloughing or laying people off again during that period.

The Truth

United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart shared a message with employees and the media on Monday.

The truth is, we just don’t see anything in the data that shows a huge difference in bookings over the next few months.” 

Easy Recall Not

Tracking down all the furloughed workers could be a daunting task. The employees have relinquished their corporate email addresses and mailed back company-provided phones and ID badges. Some may have moved. In many cases, workers will need training before they can return to their jobs.

Selective Favoritism 

This undoubtedly is just the start of peculiarities and selected favoritism in the bill.

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Airline workers will be recalled, with difficulty, and paid between December 1 and March 1 to do nothing. 

That aspect was only $15 billion.

Questions arose yesterday on Twitter regarding small business loans.

Train Wreck Thesis

The PPP Program

No Medal for Nobility

Essentially, at least as best as I can tell, we renewed the $325 billion slush fund for those first in line to apply,

But no, I am not going to do it this time either but millions did. 

Here's a curious one that surfaced recently: Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch defends getting $4.4 million in federal PPP loans

Slush Fund Revived

Please recall that Congress has been bickering over this since September. 

Yet, the best they could do is revive the blanket, untargeted checks and the slush fund in the original program dating back to March. 

At least this time it's smaller. 

The ramifications, however, are unknown. Something in those 5593 pages is certain to bite in a big way.