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Cardin: shutdown 'dangerous' to air traffic safety

Senator met with unpaid TSA workers at BWI
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Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-15 08:03:31-05

The government shutdown continues into its third week and thousands of federal workers are still left unpaid.

While some are forced to stay home, others have to come to work, like TSA agents and other aviation workers at Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington Airport.

Senator Ben Cardin met with workers on Monday. During a press conference, he said their jobs are critical to keeping people safe and for them to work without pay is unacceptable.

"This is dangerous. It is dangerous. The mission that the people behind me carry out to make sure that we keep air traffic as safe as possible is being compromised by this partial shutdown," said Cardin.

Some workers tell WMAR-2 News they could be evicted from their home or their cars taken away because they can't pay rent or a car payment.

"It's inconsiderate to us, like we come here every day, we work hard without getting paid," said TSA agent Lamar Cobb. "People come to work because they love doing what they're doing to keep people safe, just like a doctor, a surgeon, police officers. They do work that keep the public safe. We do the same thing, but it's like when you're working for nothing, virtually nothing, you have nothing to go home to."

Congress approved back pay for workers impacted by the shutdown last week. It is now waiting on President Donald Trump's signature.