Pelosi warns that gov’t shutdown undermines US security

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly press conference on Jan. 17, 2019, at the US Capitol. EFE-EPA/ Shawn Thew

Washington, Jan 17 (efe-epa).- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday warned that the partial government shutdown, now in its 27th day, is undermining US national security.

What she called «Trump’s» shutdown is undermining security and the people who maintain security are not being paid, including Transportation Safety Administration and FBI officials, as well as immigration officials and Border Patrol agents, said Pelosi at her weekly press conference in the Capitol.

«Maybe (Trump) thinks it’s OK not to pay people who do work. I don’t,» she said.

Pelosi on Wednesday also alluded to security concerns when she asked Trump to postpone the traditional State of the Union address, originally scheduled for Jan. 29, until the partial government shutdown is over.

The speaker said that, as a consequence of the partial shutdown, the Secret Service, which is tasked with coordinating, planning and implementing security measures for events of this kind, has been operating for 27 days without funding.

At her press conference on Thursday, Pelosi said she did not doubt the «professionalism» of the agents, but she insisted that they must receive their salaries for protecting the country’s «most powerful» leaders during that speech, for which the president, vice president, Trump’s Cabinet, the Supreme Court justices and the entire Congress assemble in the Capitol.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday on Twitter that her department and the Secret Service are «fully prepared» to guarantee security during the State of the Union address, despite the partial shutdown.

Since Dec. 22, approximately 25 percent of the federal government has been paralyzed because of Trump’s demand that $5.7 billion be included in the federal budget for his much-touted US-Mexico border wall, a proposal that Democrats have rejected out of hand as being contrary to American values, wasteful and inefficient at providing proper border security.

As a result, some 800,000 federal workers have been receiving no pay since that time and work at number of government departments and agencies along with assorted other federal activities have been halted or severely curtailed due to lack of funding.