WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, entered the following statement into the Congressional Record today on the Trump Shutdown and its impacts on federal workers and airport safety and security in her district and throughout the country.
“Federal workers missed their first paycheck, and still there is no end in sight to this cruel and senseless shutdown. It is truly shameful that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are so desperate to secure taxpayer funding for an irrational border wall that they’re willing to harm hardworking Americans and jeopardize national security by shutting down the federal government.
“This outrageous shutdown has furloughed 400,000 federal workers, and it’s forcing another 400,000 federal workers to work without pay. Among those working without pay are 53,000 Transportation Security Administration employees, more than 24,000 air traffic controllers and other Federal Aviation Administration employees, 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and customs officers, 42,000 service members in the United States Coast Guard, 17,000 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers, 14,000 FBI agents, and 6,000 Forest Service firefighters.
“These dedicated public servants go to work every day for the American people. These hardworking people keep us safe. They should not have to worry about how they will keep a roof over their heads and feed their families.
“My congressional district is home to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the sixth busiest airport in the world and the third busiest in the United States. In 2017, more than 84 million passengers used LAX. All of these passengers depend upon the TSA’s airport security screeners and the FAA’s air traffic controllers to get them to their destinations safely.
“The Trump shutdown doesn’t just affect government employees. An economic study in 2011 reported that operations at LAX generated 294,400 jobs in Los Angeles County with labor income of $13.6 billion and economic output of more than $39.7 billion. The economic vitality of Los Angeles County depends upon the safety and security of LAX and the TSA and FAA employees who work there.
“TSA employees are dedicated public servants who risk their lives every day to keep our nation’s airports and travelers safe. On November 1, 2013, a Transportation Security Officer named Gerardo Hernandez was tragically killed in the line of duty during an active shooter incident at LAX. He was the first TSA employee to be killed in the line of duty, and my colleagues and I passed the bipartisan Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2015 in his honor. Our President has forgotten the critical role these American patriots serve in our national security.
“Today, at LAX and airports throughout the country, Transportation Security Officers like Gerardo Hernandez are working without pay!
“The Trump Shutdown is endangering public safety, national security, and the livelihoods of the people whose job it is to protect us.
“Democrats want to end this shutdown now. On Day One, the new Democratic House of Representatives passed Senate Republican legislation to end the Trump Shutdown and re-open government. Despite the Republicans’ relentless obstruction, Democrats have continued to take further action to re-open government, passing individual Senate Republican appropriations bills to re-open all government agencies.
“American families and workers should not be punished because of a policy disagreement in Washington, D.C. Donald Trump should stop holding the safety, security, and paychecks of workers in my district, and throughout the country, hostage. He must re-open the government immediately.”