All want to work, all dedicated, most worry because of lack of paychecks amid government shutdown

U.S. Representative Kurt SchraderIt's probably one of the most discussed topics in the United States today, maybe even in the world. The government has been partially shut down for three weeks and employees from those departments that must work are living paycheck to paycheck and are worried.

To check out what's happening at the airport in our area, U.S. Representatives Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici spent nearly an hour at PDX talking with air traffic controllers and TSA employees to find out how they are doing during the shutdown. Although they have to work, they are not getting paid and most are worried about paying their bills.

"I sure wish we could get this figured out," said Schrader. He interviewed one air traffic controller that was transferred to PDX from a smaller airport but can't work because he needs further training for his new job here.

"He said he was trying to keep busy. I thought he was amazingly upbeat, as were all the air traffic controllers," Schrader said. "They are quite dedicated to their work. They are not talking about taking sick-outs. Although maybe some of the TSA agents are."

The Congressman intimated that what is going on isn't the best way to do this.

"This is a misguided way to do things," he told the Herald. "It's suppressing transportation, farming; it's not the way to do this."

"There's a deal to be had," he said. "We need to talk about comprehensive immigration resolve. It's different now, there are families and we need to give it our attention, money and resources. We need to calm down and do it right."

Carol Rosen
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