*This post was originally sent as an email to GBTA members.*
Last Friday, just hours before a midnight funding deadline for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was set to expire, Congress passed a bill that provided one more week of funding for DHS while legislators will yet again attempt to pass a short-term funding bill. This leaves DHS operations in limbo with the continued threat of a shutdown just one week from now.
GBTA issued a statement expressing our disappointment in Congress’ failure to fully fund DHS and explaining the potential impact of a shutdown to the business travel industry and the economy as a whole.
We sincerely hope Congress will pass a bill fully funding DHS before the deadline next Friday, but wanted to prepare you for what to expect if a shutdown happens.
How will a DHS shutdown impact you and your company?
While TSA’s security screeners are considered essential employees and would still be reporting to work, they will be working without pay, which could have an impact on morale. Employees deemed “nonessential” will be furloughed, leaving remaining front-line employees without proper support resources in place. With TSA operating at minimum staffing levels, your travelers may experience delays, longer lines and a potential disruption on their travel plans.
What long-term effects could a DHS shutdown have?
As DHS employees must now spend time again preparing for a possible shutdown, it will delay planned enhancements to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck and Global Entry Programs. Each day lost will delay the progress of these important risk-based security programs that help move business travelers safely and more efficiently through airports.
We will continue to keep you posted on this issue and its impact on the business travel community. You can also check the GBTA blog for a round-up of the latest news on the potential shutdown.