The association representing thousands of the country’s FBI agents warned Thursday that the ongoing government shutdown is affecting the bureau’s operations and could result in agents taking their talents elsewhere.
The FBI Agents Association sent a petition to the White House and congressional leaders encouraging them to fund the FBI immediately.
“On Friday, January 11, 2019, FBI Agents will not be paid due to the partial government shutdown, but we will continue our work protecting our nation,” the letter reads. “We urge our elected representatives to fund the Department of Justice (‘DOJ’) and the FBI because financial security is a matter of national security.”
The shutdown has left nearly 800,000 federal employees without pay as President Trump and Democrats remain at odds over funding for the commander-in-chief’s border wall. FBI agents are among those deemed “essential” and are still working even thought they will not be paid during the impasse.
The letter goes on to warn that agents could soon look for work outside of the agency if things don’t resolve soon.
The ongoing financial insecurity caused by the failure to fund the FBI could lead some FBI Agents to consider career options that provide more stability for their families.
The association’s president, Tom O’Connor, noted in a conference call the rigorous financial checks that agents must endure to remain in good standing with the department.
“This is not about politics for Special Agents. For Special Agents, financial security is national security,” he said.