More faces of the partial government shutdown are going public every day the slowdown continues.
That was the case on Monday at Bradley International Airport, as TSA and air traffic control employees discussed their angst over missing their first pay period as a result of the partial shutdown.
“I don’t want to become a professional Zamboni driver. It’s certainly not one of my life goals,” said Christopher Scofield, who works at Bradley as an airway transportation systems specialist. He says he picks up anywhere from 25 to 30 hours each week driving the Zamboni, but says that’s a bonus under normal circumstances, not something meant to pay his bills. “I’m very happy with my full-time job. I help airplanes land on the ground safely every day. I’m very proud of that and I enjoy that greatly.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined the group of workers at Bradley, supporting their legal efforts to secure some kind of labor department benefits for going without pay for so long.
He says Democrats do not shoulder the responsibility for the shutdown, instead focusing on Senate Republicans who could call bills to reopen the government, but to this point have not done so.
“The path forward here is pretty clear. Put to a vote on the floor of the Senate the bills that would reopen the government,” Blumenthal said during a visit to Bradley International Airport, “Mitch McConnell ought to be ashamed and embarrassed that he is standing between these laws and the workers of our country getting paid.”
JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and American Airlines all told NBC Connecticut that there has been minimal disruption so far, as the shutdown has stretched onward.
Sarah Small, a TSA officer of more than 11 years, says she’s felt the disruption, but is making it work as best she can.
“I’ve been OK just because I’m good with my money so, I try not to spend, just on necessities,” Small said.
She does not think the country needs a wall along the Southern border, but says those discussions can certainly happen once the federal government is reopened for business.
“You can open it, and then you can fight as much as you want to get what you need but I believe that we shouldn’t be held, almost accountable, for trying to get what you want.”