Washington (AFP) - Federal Bureau of Investigation agents warned Thursday that the ongoing partial shutdown of the government is threatening their ability to investigate crimes and maintain staffing.
"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," the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) said in a statement.
"The important work done by the bureau needs to be funded immediately."
The association represents the nearly 13,000 active special agents -- the FBI's core investigation force that probes everything from violent and financial crimes to espionage and terrorism.
The FBIAA warned in a petition to the White House and Congressional leaders that not receiving paychecks from January 11 due to the shutdown could damage the finances of agents.
"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," it said.
"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," it added.
The shutdown began on December 22 after President Donald Trump rejected a government funding bill that did not meet his demand for billions of dollars to build a wall on the US-Mexico border to fight illegal immigration.
That has meant potentially unpaid furloughs for 800,000 federal workers and millions of contract workers.