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  • Florida Democratic legislators Donna Shalala (R), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (L) and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (C) in Miami, Florida, USA, Jan. 10, 2019.

    Florida Democratic legislators Donna Shalala (R), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (L) and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (C) in Miami, Florida, USA, Jan. 10, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 12 January 2019

Congresswomen question President Trump's shutdown for putting  U.S. citizen's lives at risk.

A group of Florida's Democratic legislators, accompanied by workers and trade unionists, demanded Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump reopen the government and end the shutdown's negative consequences.

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During a press conference at the Miami airport, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz described, as "outrageous," the Senate blocking the Lower House's bills to lift the shutdown on the U.S. administration. 

The congresswoman also lamented that Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, is "such a lackey" of President Trump.

Due to the lack of agreement regarding funding to build a border wall, 25% of the U.S. Federal Administration has been closed since Dec. 22 and about 800,000 employees have yet to receive salaries.

"It's unacceptable and they put... lives at risk," Schultz said and recalled that "the vast majority" of U.S. citizens and security agencies oppose the border wall construction.

Congresswoman Donna Shalala, who stressed that the shutdown has mainly affected ordinary citizens, said that it is urgent for federal employees to return to work and "workers of dealerships be paid." Shalala also recalled the effects of the 1995 shutdown during President Bill Clinton's administration.

Miami International Airport (MIA) authorities announced that, as a result of the administrative closure, G-Terminal operations will be reduced due to the shortage of security personnel.

The decision will affect G-Terminal workers, many of whom are subcontracted and will lose their salaries.

"We have been kidnapped by Donald Trump's fantasy. There are thousands of workers whose salaries will not be returned," Wendy Walsh, leader of the local branch of the 'Unite Here' union, said, revealing that about 1,000 airport workers, who barely earn some US$8.50 per hour, are directly suffering the shutdown's consequences.

"Our work is very difficult and stressful. We should not be distracted by how we are going to pay our bills, children's schools, mortgages or health insurance," air traffic controller Billy Kisseaddoo said, adding that thousands of workers across the country will receive a zero-dollar payment.


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