Government shutdown brings on scary security implications

Government shutdown brings on scary security implications
Federal employees say the partial government shutdown is putting the safety of every American at risk.

(CNN) – Federal employees say the partial government shutdown is putting the safety of every American at risk.

“Not getting paid is a serious problem that really needs to end, and I really hope it does soon,” said Alex Naffa, a Transportation Security Administration officer in Houston, Texas.

Naffa, a father to two little girls, who’s also taking care of his own ailing father, is about to miss his second paycheck in a row.

"No money for the mortgage, for the cars, for the insurance, for the bills that we have. It's been very tough on all of us," he said.

The threat to American travelers is also growing. As federal workers suffer, the impact is being felt within the agencies and departments they work for, particularly when it comes to national security.

Air traffic controllers, who are also going without pay, are warning that: “We cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break. It is unprecedented.”

Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said the shutdown is affecting job performances.

"I'm starting to see routine mistakes in clearances being made because controllers are distracted," Rinaldi said.

A report from the FBI Agents Association said that operations, including fighting terrorism and developing critical sources, are being affected, with dramatic potential consequences.

"For special agents, financial security is national security," said Tom O'Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association. "The failure to fund the FBI is making it more difficult for us to do our jobs to protect the people of our country from criminals and terrorists."

The U.S. Coast Guard, another group tasked with protecting the country, also isn’t being funded.

A Coast Guard pilot told CNN that flights are being canceled because pilots are stressed and feeling unsafe, saying, “Flying is unforgiving. You have to be 100 percent focused or people die.”

A Coast Guard spokesperson told CNN that families of any Coast Guard member who dies in the line of duty, or families of a retired member who dies, would not receive any of their loved one’s benefits as long as the shutdown lasts.

The Coast Guard’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, is also going without funding.

Five former Homeland Security secretaries, including John Kelly – who’s also President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, and led the West Wing when the shutdown started – sent the president and Congress a letter asking that they “fund the critical mission of DHS.”

"I fear that the damage already done to our security will be months, if not years, as a result," former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.

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