U.S. Congressman LOUIE GOHMERT: Proudly Serving the First District of Texas

 

Law Enforcement and Federal Assistance

Would FBI agents come off the streets?

Using past shutdown experience as a guide, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform anticipates that FBI agent personnel would be exempt from furlough and thus continue to perform their assigned duties. In accordance with OMB Circular No. A-11, the FBI prepares an annual plan which guides agency activities in the absence of appropriations. This includes a breakdown of employees that would be retained in absence of appropriations because they are “engaged in military, law enforcement, or director provision of health care activities.”

Would CIA officers get paid?

Using past shutdown experience as a guide, the Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform anticipates that CIA officers would be considered excepted employees and required to work during a shutdown. Consistent with OPM guidance,4 CIA officers who qualify as excepted employees would continue to earn pay, but would not receive pay until the enactment of appropriated funds.

Do computer operated government systems shut down? Would local law enforcement still have access to Federal databases? Would the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) still be available so that firearm purchases would not be interrupted?

It is the understanding of the House Committee on Homeland Security that state and local law enforcement would continue to have access to federal law enforcement databases for homeland security oriented issues and access to the government systems that support them. DHS has not yet provided the Committee specific information on these issues.

Would FEMA and disaster assistance be affected?

CRS informed the House Committee on Homeland Security that disaster assistance would likely not be affected because the Disaster Relief Fund is categorized as “no year money.” DHS has not yet provided the Committee specific information on these issues. According to CRS Report RL34680, though not indicative of future shutdown activities, emergency and disaster assistance was an excepted activity in FY 1996.