A battle in Congress over President Barack Obama’s immigration directives will shut down the Department of Homeland Security if Congress fails to pass a bill funding the department before Friday at midnight.

But even if the department shuts down, roughly 200,000 of its 230,000 employees, including Transportation Security Administration officers at the airport in Augusta, will still have to work, even though they won’t be paid. The department has 905 full-time employees and 650 people in the U.S. Coast Guard in Maine, according to a spokeswoman for the department.

TSA employees at Augusta State Airport won’t be paid unless Congress decides to fund back pay, as it did after the October 2013 federal government shutdown.

John Guimond, manager of the Augusta airport, said he isn’t concerned about the potential of a Homeland Security shutdown because he’s been told by a TSA supervisor at the airport that the agency’s employees would still report to work. Typically, three or four TSA officers work at the airport each day, he said.

A TSA employee at the airport, who declined to give his name when he answered the phone, said there are nine TSA employees at the Augusta airport, and they would still report to work as normal. He said he’s sure there are some employees concerned about not getting paid, but they expect to receive back pay once Congress approves it if they’re forced to work without it.

The Robert LaFleur Airport in Waterville does not have TSA agents.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @Paul_Koenig


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