Democrats are now floating the idea of canceling the Super Bowl as a way to lead to the end the government shutdown.
Sports Illustrated reported that government officials are concerned about the ongoing government shutdown’s potential impact on Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, according to multiple reports. Worries over security at the Super Bowl as well as travel conditions at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport are among the chief concerns.
“Obviously, we are in uncharted territory with the shutdown that’s gone on this long, and we are preparing as best we can from our vantage point,” Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CBS on Thursday.
The shutdown is most likely to affect air travel in Atlanta, if the government doesn’t reopen by Sunday, Feb. 3. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has been forced to end planning sessions for Super Bowl weekend due to the shutdown, leading to a potentially ill-prepared workforce.
Multiple sources tell Fox there was a stir in the Hse Dem Caucus mtg today when an unnamed mbr suggested there could be issues securing the Super Bowl due to shutdown. “That definitely got everyone’s attention,” said one House Democrat who asked not to be identified.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 18, 2019
Democrats are floating canceling the Super Bowl in order to push to end what is now the longest government shutdown in history, according to a report quoting several Democrat lawmakers.
Fox News reports a Democrat lawmaker confirmed that during a meeting of the House Democrat Conference–of which Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the leader–on Thursday morning, discussion of the shutdown’s effects on the Super Bowl caused a ruckus.
“A House Democratic Caucus meeting was roiled Thursday morning after one representative floated the possibility that the ongoing partial federal government shutdown might affect federal authorities’ ability to secure the upcoming Super Bowl,” Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Gregg Re reported.
“That definitely got everyone’s attention,” a Democrat lawmaker told Fox News anonymously.
Another Democrat lawmaker told Fox News anonymously that canceling the Super Bowl “would definitely lead to the end of the government shutdown.”
While nobody in President Donald Trump’s administration–which oversees the collection of government agencies that come together to handle travel, logistics, security, and more for major events like the Super Bowl–is suggesting that the Super Bowl be canceled like Democrats on Capitol Hill are floating, there is definitely concern about the shutdown’s impact on this year’s big game.
A report from NBC News details how not just air traffic controllers at Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson International Airport will be working without pay, but so will officials at many of the other agencies involved in helping secure the Super Bowl:
If the shutdown — now in an unprecedented 27th day — continues, the federal employees charged with overseeing security at the event will also be working without pay.
The Department of Homeland Security is heavily involved with keeping the event safe from terrorism and other threats, working with the NFL, FBI and local law enforcement agencies.
That includes personnel from the Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. All of those agencies have been hit by the shutdown — as has the FBI.
The Fox News report details just how intricately involved federal agencies are in protecting the Super Bowl:
Super Bowls, including last year’s game in Minneapolis, typically are designated at Special Event Assessment Rating level 1 and involve tight coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rates SEARs 1 through 5, with level 1 indicating the most risk.
A DHS rating of SEAR 1 is just below that of a National Special Security Event, a designation for major national or international events that face the highest potential terr risks. At last year’s Super Bowl, roughly 30 federal agencies — including the FBI, Secret Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — were on hand, as well as cybersecurity officials.
Scroll down to the comments and tell us what you think.