TSA closes checkpoint at BWI airport, citing ‘excessive callouts’

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As it girds for a busy holiday weekend for travel, the nation's airport security screening system continues to struggle with high absenteeism as a result of officers having to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.

In a tweet, TSA confirmed that it would exercise a contingency plan at BWI Marshall Airport in collaboration with airport authorities and servicing airlines because excessive numbers of agents had called out of work.

The airport said that twice as many workers called in sick Saturday as did the same time a year ago.

A recent TSA statement revealed unscheduled absences among staffers jumped to 7 percent across the country on Friday, compared with 3 percent on that date the year before. In Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson, passengers waited as long as 47 minutes, the TSA said.

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TSA screeners are among the roughly 460,000 federal employees who are working but not getting paid.

The partial government shutdown that began December 22 has halted funding for more than a dozen major departments and agencies.

In the release TSA said many employees were saying that they could not come to work because of financial limitations. It is a result of a political fight over whether to fund a wall on the border with Mexico.

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