TSA agent: Government shutdown 'demoralizing' employees

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Many of the 800,000 federal workers affected by the government shutdown are spread out across the county.

In Atlanta, many of the TSA agents that serve the nation's busiest airport are feeling the pinch.

TSA employee Jamie Keys is has been serving Atlanta travelers for 14 years, and even though he has been reporting to work as promised, he says he has nothing to show for it. 

"It's demoralizing, because you go to work, and you expect pay for hard work and you wake up and your bank account is empty," Keys said.

Keys is part of the nearly 1,200 TSA workers at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport who are considered essential employees. That means they show up and work regardless of the shutdown, only getting paid when the stalemate ends.

"Everyone is angry, everyone is upset, and everyone is scared because we don't know how we are going to provide for our families moving forward," he said.

Frustration took shape during a demonstration Thursday where some TSA employees voiced their concerns by rallying outside the airport's busy domestic terminal.

MORE: Furloughed TSA employees protest for paychecks as shutdown continues

Keys says he and his fellow agents' lives and finances are starting to be in limbo, and years of dedicated service may have to go out the window.

"I live 45 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson, so, just burning gas for no reason. After a while I am going to need to make a decision – is it really wise for me to keep doing it?" he said.

Even after hours of scanning bags and performing his duties, Keys has taken to driving with Uber to make ends meet. He says the extra work and uncertainty from lawmakers is making it a nearly impossible situation.

It's making even the most loyal employees, like him, lose faith.

"When you work for the government the first thing you do is take an oath to protect this country and the Constitution, and right now, this country is letting us down," he said.