(The Hill) – The White House warned Wednesday morning that Americans could face travel delays if the government shuts down, as Congress only has a few days left to fund the government.
The Biden administration says that a shutdown would mean more than 13,000 air traffic controllers and 50,000 transportation security officers wouldn’t be paid. It noted in its latest memo to highlight the impacts of a government shutdown that those personnel are deemed essential so would go to work but receive no pay, which has led to issues for air travelers in the past.
They “would have to show up to do their critical jobs without getting paid until funding becomes available. In previous shutdowns, this led to significant delays and longer wait times for travelers at airports across the country,” the memo read.
And it warns that air traffic controller training would stop, “potentially leading to long-term disruptions to the industry at a moment when we’ve seen critical progress filling a backlog of controllers.”
The memo also highlights the states with the most traffic controllers and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers, including California with 1,418 and 5,469, respectively, and Texas with 1,264 and 4,720, respectively.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is set to hold a press conference on Wednesday to highlight the impact a shutdown would have on transportation, during which he will also call on House Republicans to honor the bipartisan deal made with President Biden earlier this year.
Biden has accused Republicans of not abiding by the debt-ceiling-raising agreement he made with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in May. Under that deal, lawmakers voted for legislation that set ceilings on spending for the next year. Now conservatives in the House are seeking to make deeper cuts than it included.
Congress faces a Saturday deadline to pass legislation to fund the government and prevent a shutdown. So far, House Republicans have not agreed to a deal amongst themselves, let alone with the Senate and White House.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday unveiled a bipartisan continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government until Nov. 17 and avert a shutdown. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) then endorsed the CR, which also includes some money for Ukraine and disaster relief.