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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cost of the Shutdown: FBI and Coast Guard

From the FBI Agents Association:
If the FBI and Department of Justice ("DOJ") are not funded, the Agents will continue to face challenges in carrying out our mission to protect the nation. Some of the specific ways the shutdown affects our Agents and operations were highlighted in the FIBAA’s petition:
1. FBI Special Agents are subject to high security standards that include rigorous and routine financial background checks.… Missing payments on debts could create delays in securing or renewing security clearances, and could even disqualify Agents from continuing to serve in some cases.
2. The operations of the FBI require funding. As the shutdown continues, Special Agents remain at work for the American people without being paid, and FBI leadership is doing all it can to fund FBI operations with increasingly limited resources—this situation is not sustainable.
3. Pay uncertainty undermines the FBI’s ability to recruit and retain high-caliber professionals....The ongoing financial insecurity caused by the failure to fund the FBI could lead some FBIAgents to consider career options that provide more stability for their families.
Quotations from field agents:.
Two days ago, our financial office advised that the division has exhausted [Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force ('OCDETF')] operational funding.… We are in the middle of a critical OCDETF investigation targeting kilo-quantity trafficking of  methamphetamine and heroin by street gang members…. Without money to pay sources and conduct controlled narcotics purchases, our task force is unable to continue these critical investigations. This task force is the only task force in this region specifically targeting interstate street gang criminal activities.
I have been working a long term MS-13 investigation for over three years. We have indicted 23 MS-13 gang members for racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering,  extortion, money laundering and weapons offenses.… Since the shutdown, I have not had a Spanish speaker in the Division. We have several Spanish speaking informants. We are only able to communicate using a three way call with a linguist in another division.