The international president of the Association of Flight Attendants on Tuesday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to hold votes to end President Donald Trump’s government shutdown.
“We shouldn’t be dragged into this debate about a border wall, it has nothing to do with us,” association President Sara Nelson told CNN’s Kate Bolduan in an interview, saying that aviation workers were being “used as bargaining chips.”
The AFA says it’s the world’s largest union “organized by flight attendants for flight attendants,” representing 50,000 flight attendants across 20 airlines. Transportation Security Administration agents are working without pay during the partial government shutdown.
Nelson placed the responsibility for reopening the government squarely with Republicans.
“We have a solution that the House has passed, that the Senate has previously passed,” she said, referring to the government funding bill passed by the Senate — with Republican support — before President Donald Trump insisted he wouldn’t sign it without $5 billion for a border wall.
“Let’s get that done,” Nelson continued. “Let’s move this forward. I would implore Leader McConnell to bring this to the floor and get these agencies back up and running so that we can start the programs that are already starting to get degraded, that we’re going to have a hard time starting back up already.”
“You can continue the debate with the aviation system up and running,” Nelson said, adding: “Every single day that this goes on, we become less safe and less secure, and that, I believe, is the whole point of the debate.”
Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO: "I would implore Leader McConnell to bring this to the floor and get these agencies back up and running." pic.twitter.com/0MjzbYudm5
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 8, 2019