Conservative leader: Shutdown would quickly end if TSA workers walked off job

A conservative leader said Friday that the longest shutdown in U.S. history would be resolved in “two days” if unpaid Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers all walked off the job at airports around the country or another cataclysmic event took place.

“TSA agents, if they walked off the job tomorrow, I think the shutdown would be done in two days,” said Tim Chapman, the executive director of Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, said in an interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.”

{mosads}“The fact that so many TSA agents are showing up and really being patriotic in doing their job is a real credit to them,” he said, “but an external event like that could put a lot of pressure on it, there’s no doubt.”

Long security lines have been reported at airports around the country — including in Miami, Atlanta and Seattle — due to a higher number of TSA employees calling out sick. But the majority of TSA employees, almost none of who are getting paid during the shutdown, have continued showing up for work.

Chapman wouldn’t weigh in about whether Trump’s shutdown strategy was effective but said “what he’s trying to achieve is a completely worthy objective.”

And he said Trump’s decision to halt Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) overseas congressional trip to Afghanistan and other countries this weekend “merits applause.” Pelosi and other Democratic leaders should remain in Washington and keep negotiating with Trump, Chapman said.

“I think it’s important for everyone to not just go about business as usual when we’re a month into a shutdown,” he said.

“What you need is to have some leader on the left to come out and say, ‘OK let’s just end this thing.’ I’m pretty sure the president would agree to some sort of compromise … south of what he’s asked for. And it could be over tomorrow if that happened.”

C-SPAN’s interview with Chapman will air at 10 p.m. Eastern Friday and again on Sunday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Tags Nancy Pelosi Transportation Security Administration TSA

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