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US Unemployment Rate Continues to Fall, House May Pass Standalone Deal for Airlines

In this July 8, 2015, file photo, United Airlines planes are parked at their gates as another plane, top, taxis past them at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the president's coronavirus diagnosis could change the shape of talks toward an evasive stimulus deal. Pelosi said Democrats and the GOP "don't have shared values" about how to contain the virus and what to put in legislation. 

Despite the impasse, airline shares surged after Pelosi took a significant step Friday in saying the House could pass a standalone bill to send airlines aid money to help cover payroll. She said the chamber could also send funds to prevent tens of thousands of looming furloughs. Airlines have asked for $25 billion to cover employee pay as the travel industry suffers. 

Meanwhile, the last snapshot of the jobs market ahead of the presidential election, the US unemployment rate fell to 7.9% in September. It has fallen sharply since hitting a historic record of 14.7% in April after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the economy. 

Vice President Mike Pence, White House advisors, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and several Republican members of Congress have all crossed paths with the president in recent days, but they've tested negative.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday that she has had constructive talks with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, but the two sides are far apart. 

The Trump campaign is already canceling rallies. The CDC recommends anyone who comes into close contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days.

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