Durbin Highlights Effects of Government Shutdown on TSA Employees

CHICAGO – As the government shutdown continues, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed how the shutdown is affecting the federal workers of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  More than 1,600 TSA employees at O’Hare Airport and more than 400 TSA employees work at Midway Airport are currently working without pay.

“TSA workers are here to make sure we are safe while we travel, but because of President Trump’s shutdown, thousands of TSA officers, air traffic controllers, and FAA maintenance and safety personnel are being asked to work without a pay check. The shutdown is not only hurting these federal employees and their families, it’s putting unnecessary strain on our airports,” Durbin said. “Senate Republicans should pass and the President should sign the House-passed bill to reopen our government and put federal employees back to work.”

Twenty-five percent of the government has been shut down since funding ran out at midnight on Friday, December 21. In all, more than 8,000 federal workers in Illinois are not being paid during the shutdown. Nationally, more than 380,000 federal workers are furloughed and more than 420,000 essential federal workers are forced to work without pay—including 51,000 TSA employees involved in the screening process at airports across the country.

President Trump is seeking funding for a wall along the southern border of the U.S. in order to end the shutdown. Polls indicate a majority of Americans oppose the wall.

“The wall is a medieval response to a 21st Century challenge,” Durbin said. “Americans shouldn’t have to waste hard-earned tax dollars simply so President Trump can fulfill a campaign promise.”