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The Shutdown - Who Holds the Cards?

As this is being written, the federal government shutdown is just hours away. If you are reading this after September 30... then it has already occurred. The big question now is who holds the cards? Who has the power and the ability to force the House of Representitives to act and when will they act?

Many argue that during the most recent shutdown (in 2018) eventual staffing shortages forced the Transportation Security Administration to begin shutting down airports. Fed-up Air Traffic Controllers and TSA agents failed to show-up for work in large numbers. Passengers were delayed getting through screenings, planes were delayed taking off and in some cases landing.

Once individual major airports began to cease operations, the nation and especially members of Congress became frustrated with the situation. Economic activity slowed down and Wall Street (the big doners) panicked. Once JFK, LaGuardia, O'Hare, Dulles, Reagan, LAX, and Atlanta-Hartsfield started to go down, the situation cascaded until air traffic came to a halt.

Sure, poor moms didn't get food for their big deal. Sure, meat inspectors didn't inspect meat... no big deal. Sure, new passport applications didn't get big deal. These clearly weren't important to members of the House of Representitives. But not being able to fly home to Bumfuck Alabama on the weekends brought the House back to reality.

This is a good indication of what is could happen this time. However, this time, maybe the Air Traffic Controllers and the TSA agents can be a little more pro-active. Why wait a month like they did in 2018 (actually it spilled into 2019). Call in sick on Sunday October 1 (Monday also)... All of you.

Consecutive mass sick-outs at the beginning of the month will bring air traffic to a standstill. Congress members will be stuck at home, unable to return to Washington, forced to work out of their district offices, forced to listen to their constitunents and their doners. That should get their attention.

Air Traffic Controllers and Transporation Security Administration agents now hold the cards. Let them play their hands soon and well.