WASHINGTON – As the government shutdown enters its fifth week, some fear it will take an emergency to end the stalemate between Democrats and President Donald Trump over his request for a wall along the nation's southern border.
One such crisis appears to be playing out in airports across the nation this week. The Transportation Security Administration reports that 10 percent of airport screeners didn't show up for work over the holiday weekend – that's three times more than usual.
The workers are among roughly 420,000 essential government employees who have been ordered to work during the shutdown. However, facing the possibility of yet another missed paycheck, many say the financial strain is keeping them from reporting for duty.
The result of these unscheduled absences? Travelers find themselves waiting in long lines at airports – and asking questions about security.
"They said security, stuff's getting through security. It's just unsafe to me," remarked one traveler.
Although Congress is back in session Tuesday, there's little hope the two sides can reach a border security agreement.
On Saturday, the president offered to extend protection for 700,000 Dreamers, the children of immigrants who were brought here illegally.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) aims to bring legislation with Trump's latest proposal to a vote this week, but he needs 60 votes – something Republicans don't have.
Democrats say that while they won't approve any funding for a wall, they are proposing $1 billion for border security.
Meanwhile, the president urged GOP leaders not to cave to Democratic leaders on the issue. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-rallies-for-border-wall-as-mcconn...
"Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "With a powerful Wall or Steel Barrier, Crime Rates (and Drugs) will go substantially down all over the US."
Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security. With a powerful Wall or Steel Barrier, Crime Rates (and Drugs) will go substantially down all over the U.S. The Dems know this but want to play political games. Must finally be done correctly. No Cave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
"The Dems know this but want to play political games," he added. "Must finally be done correctly. No Cave!"