The government shutdown is only getting worse as it becomes the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
Adding to the growing number of concerned federal workers, FBI agents are now voicing that dwindling resources are hurting the nation’s security.
resident of the FBI Agents Association, Thomas O’Connor, shared that roughly 5,000 of the bureau’s 35,000 agents, analysts, lawyers and other personnel where on furlough, drastically effecting the aid the agency gets from surveillance and laboratory operations.
As federal workers including those with the agency look to miss another paycheck this week, O’Connor warned that the situation was most likely to harm agents who had to meet financial obligations to keep up with security clearances required in their work.
O’Connor informed reporters that “Financial security is national security,” and the continued shutdown was “entering uncharted territory” as it progressed toward the title of longest shutdown.
The FBI agents group has made a petition to lawmakers clearly outlining how the disruption of agent finances, “could even disqualify agents from continuing to serve in some cases.”
“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 petition also stated.
Despite noting that some agents may seek other employment, O’Connor was quick to point out that agents were not sitting on the fence about the decision, those that remained with the agency continued to work, in contrast to the “Blue Flu” that TSA workers have been accused of manufacturing as a response to going without pay.
“Whether paid or not, we’re going to show up and do our job to the best of our ability,” O’Connor said.