He says it’s important for the government shutdown to end.
Baltimore, Md (KM) Maryland Senator Ben Cardin (D) met with federal workers at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport on Monday to talk with federal workers on the impact of the partial government shutdown He said he spoke with air traffic controllers, security officers and other aviation employees, many of whom have been forced to work without pay, or have been furloughed.
He says this shutdown is having an impact on worker morale. “The uncertainty of when they’re going to get a paycheck; their inability to pay their bills; the secondary impact on family members; the impact on the mission. At BWI, the people.I met with are in charge of airline safety,” he says.
Senator Cardin says he heard from employees who told him the lack of a paycheck is having an impact on their personal lives. “It’s about people who said ‘were going to be in default on our mortgage. We have to make a choice on w between whether to pay our car payment or we pay our mortgage payment.’ I had another employee tell us he couldn’t go forward with closing on their house because they don’t have the financial support now that would warrant the mortgage,” he says.
The shutdown began in December, 2018, and is now in its fourth week. It centers around border security. President Trump has said he will not sign any appropriations bill which does not contain $5-billion for a wall along the Mexican border. The Democrats say they will pay for border security, but a wall is not the answer. “We’ re all for border security, and we want to have border security. But we want to make sure it’s ones that will make us safe. And that’s why Democrats and Republicans have worked together on technology, more personnel and infrastructure along the border. But we need to do it in a way that’s going to be in the best interests of the taxpayers in this country,” he says.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has passed two bills that would reopen the government which includes funding for border security, but not a wall. They’ve been sent to the US Senate where the Republican Majority leader refuses to bring to the floor for a vote, claiming the President will not sign them. . “The two bills the House passed, and previously passed the Senate, and they’re bipartisan bills, were passed with Republican leadership. So it’s hard to understand why the Republican leader won’t bring those bills up for a vote when clearly, the votes are there,” Senator Cardin says. “A lot of these agencies have nothing to do with border security and yet they’re still being shuttered.”
“President Trump should allow government to be opened, and let’s negotiate border security as we should,” Cardin says.
By Kevin McManus