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Denver airport. Photo: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

U.S. air travel is under "enormous strain" as a result of the government shutdown, with many lawmakers speculating that total dysfunction could be the breaking point that leads to President Trump and Democrats eventually striking a deal, Politico reports.

The big picture: The shutdown, which is about to enter its fifth week, has disrupted pilot training, is preventing companies from adding new planes, and is "delaying purchases of bag-scanning equipment," according to Politico. Airports are bracing for a bump in air travel over MLK weekend, with TSA expecting 8 million people to fly this weekend — 10% more than last year. This comes as 6.4% of TSA's baggage screeners called out absent from work on Thursday, citing sickness and — increasingly — financial strain.

What's happening:

  • The safety board that investigates transportation incidents has insufficient personnel, which has made it impossible to thoroughly investigate 14 recent accidents — 10 of which have resulted in the death of 16 people.
  • Training is being canceled, which is postponing equipment purchases. All of this will have to be made up eventually, per Politico.
  • Outside of airports, flight schools are also being hit. The National Air Transportation Association told Politico that training providers may not be able to get the qualifications needed to train pilots, which "may prevent aircraft from having the necessary crews to operate."
  • Training for air traffic controllers is also being paused.

The bottom line: Unions representing aviation workers have said that it would be illegal for them to go on strike. But nothing's stopping them from quitting altogether.

Go deeper: All the ways Americans are feeling the effects of the shutdown

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

DeSantis issues order barring Florida schools from mandating masks

Photo: Michael Reaves via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday issued an executive order that bars local school districts from requiring students to wear masks when they return to the classroom next month.

Why it matters: The spread of the Delta variant has led to a spike in new infections across the United States, triggering another round of debate about COVID guidelines in schools.

Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

More corporations are requiring workers to get vaccinated

Graphic: Axios Visuals

Life for the unvaccinated could get more difficult as bosses increasingly move to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.

The big picture: The federal Government in May said that it is legal for companies to require employees to get vaccinated for coronavirus.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

DOJ sues Texas over restrictions on undocumented migrant travel

Photo: Samuel Corum-Pool via Getty Images

The Justice Department sued Texas on Friday over Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) executive order restricting transportation of undocumented migrants.

Driving the news: The DOJ is asking a federal judge to block the order immediately. It's the latest clash between Texas and President Biden's Justice Department.