More than 1,000 Transportation Security Administration employees have not received their full paycheck for time worked during the partial government shutdown, reports CNN, and TSA is partially to blame.
Workers were given a portion of their paycheck during the shutdown to help alleviate some of their costs, which has ultimately contributed to the delay in compensating all employees, per CNN. TSA now has to manually go back and determine which employees have been paid and what back pay still remains.
Human resources representative for TSA Karen Shelton Waters said the decision to enact partial pay came just as the agency received funding again.
"Our timing ... could not have been poorer in terms of when we executed partial pay. We actually got approval to do that almost simultaneously with the time funding was restored," Waters said.
A TSA official, who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity, called the pay delay a self-inflicted wound. "It appears as though their effort to partially pay people screwed things up and they are still getting their act together," the anonymous official said.
Southwest Airlines took a $60 million revenue loss from the recent partial government shutdown, reports CNBC.
The airline lost money because fewer government workers and contractors were traveling during the shutdown, which stretched between December and January. The closure also halted plans to introduce new jets and routes, per CNBC. The company last estimated the loss to be between $10 million and $15 million, but since then has "continued to experience softness in passenger demand and bookings" due to the shutdown, reports CNBC.
Shares in the airline were down by more than 5 percent on Wednesday after Southwest projected a lower revenue outlook for the quarter. Both Delta and American Airlines saw a drop in shares as well, per CNBC. Aside from hurting air travel profits, the 35-day shutdown cost the American economy $11 billion, $3 billion of which will never be recovered. Marianne Dodson
The record 35-day government shutdown cost the U.S. economy $11 billion, $3 billion of which will never be recovered, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. But not all damage is financial. National parks, for example, weren't technically closed during the shutdown — the gates were open and unstaffed, like most of the rest of the parks — and without park rangers working, some unsupervised visitors wreaked havoc, causing lasting damage to the parks and the wildlife that inhabit them. At Joshua Tree National Park, for example, vandals cut down several Joshua trees and visitors damaged rocks, hiked and drove vehicles in prohibited areas, set illegal campfires, and left trash and human waste strewn about.
"What's happened to our park in the last 34 days is irreparable for the next 200 to 300 years," former Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent Curt Sauer said Saturday, at a rally near the park to highlight the damage to Joshua Tree. Sauer praised the volunteers who stepped in to clean up trash and clean toilets especially during the first three weeks, before the National Park Service dipped into stockpiled entrance fees to pay for trash cleanup, but decried the lasting impact.
"The local community is fed up with our parks being held hostage and the fact that it's open and partially staffed is not good for the park, it's not good for the public, and it's not good for the local community here," John Lauretig, executive director of the nonprofit Friends of Joshua Tree, told the Palm Springs Desert Sun. "If the government doesn't fund or staff the parks appropriately, then they should just close the parks to protect the parks and protect the people." Peter Weber