The U.S. government is once again on the brink of shutting down as funding is at risk of running dry this weekend. If the shutdown goes into effect, it could cause travel chaos for anyone looking to fly home for Thanksgiving next week.
The federal government could shut down on Saturday at 12:01 AM ET Saturday if Congress cannot agree on a new funding package before then, reports NBC News. If that happens, all kinds of government agencies will be closed or their staff could be asked to work without pay.
As well as fun things like the National Parks Service, the shutdown would also impact the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the work it does at airports across America. If the government shuts down in the coming days, TSA agents could face working without pay as record numbers of travelers head home for Thanksgiving, according to Axios.
Over the holiday weekend, a record 55.4 million people are expected to travel across America, according to the American Automobile Association. This includes as many as 30 million passengers that will pass through airport security checks over the long weekend. As NBC News explains:
The air travel workforce is already stretched thin, with TSA officers and air traffic controllers working mandatory overtime amid staffing shortages and a record number of air travelers. The financial uncertainty of not being paid could put even more strain on the system, making it difficult for some to afford the child care and transportation needed to get to work, while others could be forced to take on second jobs.
In order to try t0 prevent the shutdown, U.S. lawmakers house Republicans will try and pass a new budget this week. In order to do this, they have so far proposed several funding bills that would keep the government afloat until January, if passed.