Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a radio interview that the city is working on a plan to provide credit union loans to Transportation Security Administration workers amid the partial federal shutdown.
Bottoms said on Georgia Public Broadcasting that “we are very close to finalizing a plan to provide some financial support for our TSA workers,” adding that the city is working with its credit union “to create some type of fund that will allow us to extend the opportunity for loans to our TSA workers.”
“You know we’re in uncharted territory.... we’re having to come up with a plan in real time as people are experiencing the shutdown,” Bottoms said on the show produced by NPR and WBUR that aired on GPB.
VIDEO: More on the government shutdown
TSA officers, as well as air traffic controllers and Customs officers, have been working without pay since the partial federal shutdown began Dec. 22. TSA officers have been calling out sick at rates as high as 10 percent over the weekend, with the agency acknowledging that “many employees are reporting that they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations.”
Bottoms and airport officials have raised concerns about the continuation of the shutdown as the Super Bowl in Atlanta nears.
The airport expects a record 110,000 passengers going through security checkpoints on the Monday after the big game, and Hartsfield-Jackson general manager John Selden said on NPR Wednesday that he does not expect “the full staff.” He has said TSA is bringing 120 additional officers into Atlanta to supplement the staff.
Other cities have also moved to offer similar programs for loans to TSA workers, including San Jose, Calif., while banks at some locations including in Seattle have begun offering short-term interest-free loans to some federal workers, according to news reports.
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