CNN: “Government shutdown ended after only 10 air traffic controllers stayed home”

CNN reports new details, confirming that a sickout by air traffic controllers, along with continued staffing concerns at TSA, forced President Trump’s hand and broke the shutdown stalemate in a matter of hours.

While 10 air traffic controllers calling out led to a breaking point for the White House, TSA staffing shortages at some of the nation’s largest airports were also a contributing factor.

Before that Friday morning, the White House had been meeting and communicating with transportation agencies, including the Department of Transportation, to discuss the impact of the shutdown on commercial aviation, information that contributed to the deal that temporarily ended the government shutdown, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

The White House was given a stark portrayal for what would happen as it relates to commercial aviation if this shutdown continued, the source said. Then, the White House saw it play out in real time with air traffic control staffing issues causing massive delays in several northeastern airports.

Trump’s aides, along with his outside political advisers and his allies on Capitol Hill, had worried major flight issues would amplify the blame Trump was already facing for the shutdown. They, too, believed that major disruptions to air travel would ramp up pressure to reopen the government without wall funding.


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