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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Back pay for federal workers was authorized on Friday, but it’s still not known just how long the government shutdown will go on. It’s been weeks since Cara Mangone and her husband, Philip Mangone, have had an income.
“There are other ways to negotiate than holding our paychecks hostage,” said Cara Mangone.
Both are TSA agents at Philadelphia International Airport.
The Mangones are among some 800,000 federal employees who did not get a paycheck Friday, due to the government shutdown.
Now going on three weeks, the shutdown is a result of President Donald Trump’s demands for border wall funding.
“If security is so important, then pay the people who help keep the place safe,” Cara Mangone said.
Workers, including the Mangones, are growing frustrated as they find ways to care for their families.
Cara Mangone says she and her husband may have to find other jobs to make ends meet.
Unlike some other federal employees, TSA agents are required to work through the shutdown.
“Hopefully, it sends a clear message,” union president John Murdock said.
Murdock says, nationally, there are some 10,000 certified air traffic controllers — a 30-year low.
Not only is the agency critically staffed, Murdock says the shutdown has stopped all training in Oklahoma. It can take up to five years to get certified.
“Four or five years from now, we are going to hurt from this,” Murdock said.
Lawmakers have introduced a series of bills to end the shutdown.
Congressman Dwight Evans says he’s doing everything he can to end the shutdown, including passing legislation and attending rallies like the one near the Liberty Bell on Tuesday.
But with no real end in sight, many employees like the Mangones remain worried.
Local Republican congressional lawmakers have not yet returned our requests for comment.