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— The Trump administration is supposed to start sending checks to airlines today to help them maintain their payrolls, as questions remain about what the government will ask for in return.
— Cruise companies are in crisis, but it’s a situation largely of their own making.
— President Donald Trump and lawmakers are sending mixed messages about whether infrastructure will be part of the next coronavirus response package.
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WHAT’S NEXT FOR AIRLINE AID: Today is the deadline for the government to start paying out worker-support grants to airlines under the recently enacted CARES Act, H.R. 748 (116).
Delta Air Lines, United and American each confirmed to POLITICO they met a Friday deadline to apply for the first round of aid; other airlines will likely join them.
A big unanswered question: What will the government ask for in return? The language in the law is hedged: The government “may” receive stock, warrants or other financial instruments in exchange for the payroll grants, but it’s up to the Treasury Secretary to determine what constitutes “appropriate compensation.” The application form sent to airlines asked them to “identify financial instruments” and their value.
Approved airlines will receive grants equal to the compensation they paid employees between April 1 and Sept. 30 last year.
Several top Democrats wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the weekend urging the Trump administration not to give the aid overly restrictive terms, according to The New York Times. “Assistance must not come with unreasonable conditions that would force an employer to choose bankruptcy instead of providing payroll grants to its workers,” wrote House Speaker