OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt is not happy with the ongoing government shutdown. And while the dispute drags on in Washington, Holt says it's impacting people here in the metro.
"If I told my citizens we were shutting the government down, it would not be acceptable," Holt told PBS News Hour host Judy Woodruff on Wednesday night. "Keeping the lights on is basically the bare minimum requirement for competency. And I don't think there's any good reason to shut down the government. I do not believe that should ever be a tool for leverage, no matter what the policy discussion is about."
About a quarter of the U.S. government has gone unfunded for nearly four weeks as President Donald Trump and Democrats battle over funding for border security, namely a border wall.
While the partisan punches are thrown in D.C., Holt says Oklahomans are starting to get hit.
Holt discussed federal employees in the metro who are working without pay or who have been furloughed. He says the city of Oklahoma City has transit grants that are currently not being paid, and is concerned about eventual slowdowns at Will Rogers World Airport.
But Holt says another industry, tied to the airport, may be taking the biggest hit.
"We're the home of the FAA training center," said Holt. "So, we have all the traffic controllers in the United States are trained and educated right here in Oklahoma City. And they have shut that school down."