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U.S. House panel approves $42.5 billion for transportation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House committee voted Wednesday to approve a plan to provide $42 billion in assistance to transportation sectors and workers as part of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, while another committee is set to vote Thursday on funding for U.S. airlines and contractors.

Reuters first reported many of the details of the plans to provide new assistance to U.S. airlines, transit systems, airports and passenger railroad Amtrak and create a $3 billion program to assist aviation manufacturers with payroll costs.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on a 39-25 vote approved $42.5 billion for transportation including $30 billion for public transit agencies, $8 billion to U.S. airports and concessionaires, $1.5 billion to Amtrak and $3 billion for a temporary payroll support program for aerospace manufacturing.

President Joe Biden had proposed just $20 billion for struggling U.S. transit agencies - and nothing for airlines or airports.

Transit agencies previously were awarded $39 billion in emergency assistance by Congress. Airports and concessionaires previously received $12 billion.

The committee rejected Republican amendments, including one to shift $10 billion in transit funding to states for road and bridge programs.

The House Financial Services Committee held a lengthy hearing Wednesday on its portion of the $1.9 trillion package, including $14 billion in payroll support for U.S. passenger airlines and $1 billion for contractors, but delayed a final vote until Thursday.

U.S. airlines have been awarded $40 billion in payroll support since March. The additional $14 billion will keep nearly 30,000 airline workers on the job through Sept. 30.

The $3 billion aerospace manufacturing program would provide a 50% government subsidy to cover pay, benefits and training for employees at risk of being furloughed or who were furloughed due to the pandemic.

It is not clear when the full U.S. House may take up the $1.9 trillion measure.

This article originally appeared on Reuters

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