Federal workers in Illinois feel temporary relief, but Feb. 15 deadline looming

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WHEATON, Ill. — A group of air traffic controllers and their families got a standing ovation in suburban Wheaton on Saturday at the ceremonial swearing in of new U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6).

Ending the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, President Donald Trump on Friday signed a short-term measure to fund the government for three weeks. No money has been allocated for Trump’s desired border wall.

Congress now has three weeks to come up with a new plan. For many federal workers, the clock is ticking.

“There is no time ever that it’s right for our profession to be used as a political football,” air traffic controller Toby Hauck said.

After 35 days of working without pay, Hauck said he and his colleagues never want to be in that position again: “The stress is monumental.”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is on the committee working to strike a deal on border security.

“I think we can find some common ground,” he said. “I think we’ve made it clear we’re not going to give [the president] a wall.”

Durbin told the crowd Saturday he plans to work on passing new legislation that would prevent future government shutdowns.

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