WASHINGTON (WALA) -- The clock is ticking in our nation’s capital as Congress works on a coronavirus relief bill.

If Republicans and Democrats cannot reach a deal, thousands of airline workers could be out of a job and more industries could also be affected.

Thursday night, House Democrats approved a $2.2 trillion relief package, but it does not have bipartisan support. 

Some Alabama lawmakers on Capitol Hill are blaming each other.

Capitol Hill

“They wait till the last minute to try and talk about this, we should have done this months ago,” said Senator Doug Jones.

“We’ve got no negotiation really happening from the other side,” said Representative Bradley Byrne.

Finger pointing happening all over Washington. Both sides struggling to come to terms. The White House says they are still far apart.

“When you lower your off 2.2 trillion and you ask for direct payments to illegal immigrants and you ask for certain deportation forgiveness in your offer, it’s not a serious offer,” said Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary.

Nationwide air travel has taken a nosedive, dropping more than 70%. It’s coming back, but slowly.

Locally, at the height of the pandemic in April, Mobile Regional Airport saw passenger volume drop 90%.

“The uncertainty is probably the thing that’s getting most of us,” said Phillip Delahunty, an American Airlines Flight Attendant.

Delahunty is an American Airlines flight attendant based in Florida. He is out of a job unless Congress reaches a deal.

“I don’t really care which party has to make whatever move to get to a deal, but I would really look to our elected representatives to represent,” he said.

The stalemate in Washington affecting real people just weeks before Election Day.

Before this latest showdown, Congress already facing a low approval rating.

“I can’t blame the American public when they see a disfunction that you can’t even do things like get a package together,” Senator Jones said.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable that we would demand, we on the Republican side, that the bill be a targeted bill aimed at those sectors of our economy that still need help,” Representative Byrne said.

None of the American Eagle employees at Mobile Regional Airport are affected, while United could not provide specific numbers.

The airlines have said if Congress is able to reach a deal soon, they will reverse the furloughs.

We reached out Tommy Tuberville’s campaign for comment, but it did not respond.

All content © 2020, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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