Partial US government shutdown effects are being felt at airports

Partial US government shutdown effects are being felt at airports

A passenger managed to smuggle a firearm aboard a plane leaving Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on January 3, the Transportation Security Administration announced over the weekend, leading many to wonder if the government shutdown is to blame for the security breech.

That number was an 18-point increase from the total recovered in all of 2017, when the Atlanta airport led the country with the most firearms discovered at 245, the department said.

The Transportation Security Administration is offering a bit of compensation for its agents working without pay as the longest government shutdown in American history drag on.

An Atlanta airport spokesperson told ABC News several security lanes were closed this morning, leading to longer than usual lines.

Rudy Garcia, president of the union for Dallas TSA employees, said last week that employees who aren't getting paid for their work would likely try to make money elsewhere. "Because why would you work without pay?".

The shutdown has resulted in thousands of TSA agents working without pay, with CNN previously reporting that hundreds of TSA workers called in sick at four major airports during this period.

Because of the budget impasse over the president's plan for a border wall, TSA agents along with other federal employees - such as FBI agents and air traffic controllers - have been working without pay since December 22. Passengers flying in or out of Terminal B were routed to one of two other facilities.




TSA employee Marae Persson (L) holds a sign protesting the government shutdown at the James V. Hansen Federal Building, Jan. 10, 2019 in Ogden, Utah.

"TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on January 2", according to a statement. While they will be paid once the shutdown ends, many say they will struggle to pay bills in the meantime.

'I want to give them a chance to see if they can act responsibly, ' Trump said, calling the situation at the nation's southern border a 'humanitarian crisis'.

Feeding Tampa Bay was part of the effort, opening up a food bank for federal airport workers.

Other big airports that haven't experienced TSA sickouts are preparing for the problem to get worse.

"While I realize this is not what you are owed for your hard work ... and what you deserve, I hope these actions alleviate some of the financial hardship many of you are facing", TSA Administrator David Pekoske wrote.

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