WASHINGTON (WFSB) - Connecticut's two senators were in the state to talk about the impacts of the partial government shutdown.
Friday, Sen. Chris Murphy met with TSA workers at Tweed and Bradley International airports. Those workers have been working without pay since Dec. 22.
Murphy called it a security risk.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal met with local brewers to talk about how the shutdown is restricting their ability to grow and add jobs.
Friday marked the 21st day of the shutdown and what should have been pay day for 800 federal employees.
It could be the longest in government history. At the center of it is President Donald Trump's $5.7 billion border wall.
"The president need to reopen the government. I and many of my Democratic colleagues would be happy to talk to him about border security, but we are not going to let these TSA employees, food inspectors and FBI agents be used as hostages in order to get what he wants from Congress," said Murhpy.
With each day that passes, it becomes more difficult for federal workers, who are either furloughed or forced to work without pay, to make ends meet.
Dennis Amato is an airway transportation system specialist at Tweed New Haven Airport. He is one of the few dozen at Tweed not getting a paycheck as a result of the government shutdown.
"The younger guys are the ones I'm concerned about because they're living more paycheck to paycheck, young families, childcare, food on the table. They're dedicated employees, work hard every day," said Amato.
While these employees continue to show up, the airport's Outgoing Executive Director says if they didn't, it would ground air travel.
""Thankfully, these TSA workers agree to come to work everyday, but the moment they don't come to work, we can't process passengers through here, so traffic stops, it's that simple," said Tim Larson.
In Washington, Trump said he's considering a national emergency declaration to sidestep Congress and fund the wall.
"I would like to look it broader," Trump said. "I think we can do this quickly, because this is common sense and it's not expensive."
The Senate voted on Thursday night to provide back pay to the impacted workers once the shutdown is over. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on that measure on Friday.