The US House of Representatives has rejected legislation for the extension of the CARES Act Payroll Support Program (PSP).

Representative Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, could not get the bill approved in the chamber via the unanimous consent process.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had committed to passing the bill, has urged airlines to hold more than 33,000 furloughs.

The aid provided in March prohibits airlines from large layoffs and disruptions due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic until 1 October.

Airlines have already started after the $25bn federal payroll support package expired.

Meanwhile, American Airlines started furloughing 19,000 workers and United Airlines also announced more than 13,000 furloughs.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said: “ALPA continues to implore Congress to move legislation to extend the PSP as part of the comprehensive Covid-19 relief package under negotiation by Congress and the White House.

“For the tens of thousands of airline workers who were furloughed this week, an extension of the CARES Act Payroll Support Program is necessary to keep them from further economic and professional hardship and to help avoid the disastrous impact on the aviation industry, which is crucial to our nation’s economic recovery.

“We urge Speaker Pelosi to find an agreement with Secretary Mnuchin to protect frontline aviation workers by extending this job-saving program before it is too late.

“If the parties are unable to reach agreement on a larger package, the House and Senate must move standalone legislation to extend the PSP.”