The partial government shutdown that started at midnight affects nine federal departments and several agencies. They include the U.S. Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. attorney’s offices.
During the partial shutdown, some employees who are considered excepted for reasons that include national security and public safety might continue working, but without being paid until the shutdown is over, while others will be furloughed.
Oak Ridge Today has previously reported that FBI agents will continue working, but they will work without pay, at least for now.
The U.S. Department of Energy, which has major operations in Oak Ridge, is not affected by the shutdown, while the National Park Service, which also has operations here, is. The Park Service is part of the U.S. Department of Interior, which is one of the departments that has had a lapse in funding due to a lack of agreement between Congress and President Donald Trump over whether to include $5 billion for a wall along the Mexican border in spending legislation.
On Friday, Sharry Dedman-Beard, law enforcement coordinator and public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville, said the Department of Justice has contingency procedures in place in case there is a lapse in appropriations and a government shutdown. The procedures are meant to ensure that the department’s essential public safety and national security missions continue.
“Component heads determine excepted functions, but typically those employees with public safety and national security functions will remain on the job, and others who are non-excepted will be furloughed,” Dedman-Beard said. “In the civil arena, typically attorneys with filing obligations that cannot be rescheduled will be allowed to meet court deadlines for filings, appearances, etc.”
She said it is up to each U.S. Attorney’s office to determine excepted personnel.
“In effect, most AUSAs and staff supporting criminal prosecution efforts, which are necessary to protect public safety, are excepted personnel,” Dedman-Beard said.
All employees who are considered excepted staff remain on the job, although they cannot be paid until the appropriations lapse is over.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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