Lawmakers Worried Only a Catastrophe Will End Shutdown: ‘Anything From a Food Poisoning to An Air Accident’

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As lawmakers work to find a solution to the partial government shutdown, which is in its 35th day, two shutdown-ending bills have been rejected on Thursday and lawmakers are worried the only way to end the shutdown will be an “ultimate pressure point.”

On Thursday, the Senate voted on two opposing bills that were shot down, as one backed Democratic efforts to temporarily fund agencies without providing President Donald Trump’s proposed $5.7 billion in border wall funding, while the other would have provided funding for the president’s long-promised wall, as IJR News reported.

There seems to be no end in sight as the partial government shutdown is now in its second month, and the White House is preparing a draft to declare a national emergency as President Trump stands firm for funding of the U.S.-Mexico wall.

Jim Young/Reuters

Lawmakers worry about tipping point to end the shutdown

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla) is among those who are worried that it’ll take a pressure point for both parties to come together to end the shutdown, according to the Washington Examiner.

“I hate to put it this way, but I think if something bad happens, honestly. That’s obviously the ultimate pressure point,” Cole said. “It could be anything from food poisoning to an air accident. I think people genuinely want a solution.”

“There needs to be more of a sense of urgency in my view point. It is extremely sad. This could have been avoided in December … I don’t see how anyone looks good in any of this.”

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Trump are “losing” in the midst of the shutdown.

“I think the pressure point is that both the president and the speaker have to figure out that they’re losing, and frankly, I think they both should have figured that out by now,” Blunt said. “They both have thought they were winning and one of them had to be wrong, and both of them are likely wrong.”

“Now, I’m sure they’re both wrong,” he added.

Not only the GOP is worried about a serious event occurring to end the shutdown, but Democrat Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said, “[An airline strike] tanks the economy, so I would think if that comes to pass, that would break the logjam really quickly.”

“If there’s a threat and a strike on Super Bowl week, airline strike … That would move things very quickly,” Yarmuth added.

The effects on airlines in the midst of the shutdown

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

“Everyone needs to be on notice and on guard that this shutdown could harm the economy and it could harm air travel,’’ Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly warned about the future effects if the shutdown continues, according to USA Today.

Kelly added that it is safe to fly, but “the risk is that things slow down in order to retain a safe operating environment. That’s both from an air traffic perspective as well as an airport perspective.’”

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said they’re “close to a tipping point” as employees missed their second paycheck due to the shutdown.

According to IJR News, the TSA absence rose to a record ten percent as over 50,000 TSA officers are affected by the shutdown and not receiving pay if they do work.

In day-35, a traffic control staff shortage caused the Federal Aviation Administration to stop flights into New York City’s La Guardia airport, according to reports.

Kevin Lamarque

As IJR News reported, on Thursday, President Trump said he’d back legislation only if it included “a wall or a barrier,” suggesting “a pro-rated down payment for the wall.” Pelosi, though, slashed that down, saying a large down payment for a wall “is not a reasonable agreement.”

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.

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Rocky Drummond

A friend of mine heads up air plane maintenance for a national airline. He didn’t reassure me about flying right now.

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