Concerns grow over how a November government shutdown could impact holiday travel if TSA goes unpaid

ByAndrea Fujii ABCNews logo
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Growing concern over how a government shutdown could impact holiday travel
Days before the busy holiday getaway begins, a government shutdown is looming in Washington, which could jeopardize travel plans

WASHINGTON -- There could be some travel trouble on the horizon. Days before the busy "holiday getaway" begins, a government shutdown is looming in Washington D.C., which could jeopardize travel plans

There is growing concern about a possible government shutdown later this week that could spell chaos for millions of Americans planning to travel during the holiday season.

Experts are already predicting record crowds.

RELATED: Historic holiday travel season in the air and on the roads: AAA

"We're going to carry more customers than we ever have before, about half a million more than last year," said David Seymour, the chief operating officer for American Airlines.

But without a deal in Congress to avoid a shutdown Friday night, air traffic controllers and TSA workers could be forced to work without pay.

The concern is that many could call out "sick" in protest, which could tax the already over-burdened system.

"That is not fair to TSA workers at all, to be expected to come to work during the busiest time of the travel season without being paid," said ABC News Contributor Mike Muse. "We are really going to feel the brunt of the brunt of this come next week if the government shuts down."

House Speaker Mike Johnson has submitted a plan to keep the government funded through January but it does not include money for Israel or Ukraine, and it does not include spending cuts that many Republicans want.

"We've got to help Israel. We've got to have strong oversight and scrutiny over Ukraine aid. We've got to fix the border -- all these things that we need to do in the appropriations process but we won't be able to survive to have those fights if the government shuts down," Johnson said.

RELATED: What happens if the government shuts down ahead of Thanksgiving

At least 9 Republicans oppose Johnson's bill but Democrats could throw Johnson a lifeline.

"The speaker's proposal is far from perfect but the most important thing is that it refrains from making steep cuts," said Majority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer (D).

The House is expected to vote on Johnson's plan Tuesday.

Over in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined Sen. Schumer in supporting the bill.