On October 15, 2020, Jim Burnley was quoted in Politico Pro’s Morning Transportation newsletter on the airline industry’s need for support as stimulus talks come to a standstill on Capitol Hill.
“I am a conservative,” said Burnley. “I believe strongly in free markets. But pandemics basically change all the rules.” He said airports and the rest of the airline industry need federal help now so that when the pandemic ends, we “have a transportation system that works, as soon as reasonably possible; we don't want to have to rebuild from scratch.” That goes for transit and buses, too, he added.
He hopes Congress will “put the posturing to one side,” but if not, he said there will be another big push for stimulus relief immediately after the election. “I think you have to differentiate between pre-election and post-election,” Burnley said. “What happens in a lame duck will be influenced, in ways I can't predict with any confidence, by the outcome of the election. But atmospherically it will matter. So, we can game it endlessly to no particular good effect, we just got to wait and see.”