A majority of lawmakers in the House of Representatives have urged a six-month extension of a $32 billion payroll aid program that is keeping airlines from laying off workers.

“Without an extension of the (payroll support program) before then, hundreds of thousands of airline workers will be fired or furloughed on October 1,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to House and Senate leadership.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., signed the letter, along with 195 Democrats and 28 Republicans in the House.

The Payroll Support to Air Carriers and Contractors program, established under the $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus legislation passed in March, provides federal assistance to airlines hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. In exchange, these carriers must avoid furloughs or layoffs through the end of September.

More than a dozen unions in the airline industry have backed the extension. “Airline industry employment cannot simply be put back together overnight, and mass layoffs will do great damage to the sector and our economy, with potentially irrevocable consequences,” the unions say in a letter posted online.

The pandemic has devastated the airline industry, with American Airlines recently warning 25,000 employees of potential job cuts due to decreased demand. United Airlines has also recently warned 36,000 employees of potential furloughs.

Top lawmakers are still considering the contents of the next stimulus package. If an extension of the payroll support program is not passed, aviation layoffs would occur shortly the Nov 3. election, possibly hurting President Trump's reelection chances.