Durbin Calls On President Trump To End Government Shutdown, Discusses Impact On Air Traffic Controllers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today in a speech on the Senate floor urged President Trump to end his senseless shutdown over his unrealistic campaign promise of a border wall. Today, the FAA delayed flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York due to a shortage of air traffic controllers. Durbin shared his experience meeting with air traffic controllers who continue to work six days a week for 10 hour shifts without pay, and how the President’s shutdown has added unneeded stress to an already stressful job. 

“What’s going on with air traffic controllers should’ve worried us before the shutdown. It should frighten us now,” Durbin said. “Imagine the added burden they face now in this 35th day of this government shutdown. As of today they will have missed two pay periods. Their last paycheck came last year…We pray as passengers in the aircraft that the only thing on their mind is their job, but for many of these people it’s basically just getting by and keeping their family together.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate Floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate Floor is available here.

Over the past month, Durbin has traveled throughout Illinois to meet with federal employees who are reeling as President Trump’s shutdown has forced them to work without pay. This week, Durbin has met with air traffic controllers in Aurora, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri, and federal correctional officers in Pekin, Illinois, and Marion, Illinois, to discuss the impact of the shutdown.

Earlier this month, Durbin met with employees of the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research – also known as the Peoria Ag Lab – and highlighted how the government shutdown is threatening critical research projects, including key antibiotic research at the Peoria Ag Lab. 

Durbin also met with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees at O’Hare Airport in Chicago to hear how the shutdown is affecting their lives.  More than 1,600 TSA employees at O’Hare Airport and more than 400 TSA employees at Midway Airport are currently working without pay.