Millions of Americans who packed airports over the holiday season were screened by Transportation Security Administration officers who have been working without pay throughout the partial government shutdown.
“Since the government shutdown on December 21, roughly 2.5 million holiday travelers each day have passed through airport security checkpoints staffed by Transportation Security officers who aren’t getting paid,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement.
The partial government shutdown that began at midnight on Dec. 22 affects about a quarter of federal government functions, including agencies within the Department of Homeland Security.
Lasting more than two weeks, the shutdown has left thousands of federal employees without paychecks until Congress and the White House can reach a compromise on appropriations as President Trump demands $5 billion in border wall funding.
Like most government websites, TSA.gov is not being actively managed during the shutdown.
Report: TSA Employees Calling Out Sick
Of TSA’s 60,078 employees, 55,182 must continue working without pay until an appropriations bill is passed and signed, according to a DHS directive released on Dec. 17. The mean salary for a TSA employee is $40,960, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and several airports are experiencing a large number of TSA employees who are not showing up for their scheduled shifts, CNN reported Friday, citing unnamed agency officials and union reps.
More #FakeNews from @CNN. Security operations at airports have not been impacted by a non-existent sick out. CNN has the cell numbers of multiple @TSA public affairs professionals, but rather than validate statistics, they grossly misrepresented them. https://t.co/PzVeoIBt5R
— DHS Spokesperson (@SpoxDHS) January 4, 2019
“This will definitely affect the flying public who we (are) sworn to protect,” Thomas said.
On Friday, TSA tweeted that “call outs began over the holiday period and have increased, but are causing minimal impact given there are 51,739 employees supporting the screening process.”
“Security effectiveness will not be compromised and performance stands will not change,” the agency added.
Statement on nationwide “sick out” as reported by CNN’s Rene Marsh and Gregory Wallace. #News pic.twitter.com/RK0wiFLRJt
— TSA (@TSA) January 4, 2019
More on the Government Shutdown:
- Trump Pitches for Wall Funding with Border Patrol Union; House Passes Bills to Reopen Government
- Here’s How the Government Shutdown Affects the Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Shutdown Update: Trump Asks Dems for Deal, Nielsen Calls Border ‘Humanitarian Crisis’
- WATCH: Trump Tells Pelosi, Schumer He Will Shut Down Government Over Border Wall
- Christmas Shutdown: Deadline Passes Without Senate Agreement on Border Funding
- Federal Employees, Contractors Tweet Worries with #ShutdownStories
- Unhappy Holidays: Coast Guard Only Military Branch Facing No Pay During Shutdown
- Coast Guard to Receive December Paychecks; No Guarantee of 2019 Pay During Shutdown
- Bureau of Prisons Employees Lead Lawsuit Over All Essential Workers Being Denied Shutdown Pay