Without the authority to spend money, the United States federal government started the process of temporarily mothballing facilities and suspending the many services the government provides. However, the federal government does not stop functioning completely, and by law, certain agencies must operate with unsalaried employees. They include those that deal with national security and the safety of people and property.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shutdown plan, for example, designates about 86 percent of the department’s roughly 231,000 employees as “essential,” meaning they will remain on the job for the “safety of human life or protection of property.” Among the activities qualifying for the protection of human life or property exception are Customs and Border Protection (CBP) passenger processing and cargo inspection functions at ports of entry.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) contingency planfor the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tocontinue “limited activities” in programs that are funded through industry user fees and will continue “select vital activities” such as maintaining critical consumer protection to handle emergencies, high-risk recalls, civil and criminal investigations, import entry review, and other critical public health issues.
MIQ will continue to monitor the situation at the nation’s principle Ports and Airports and provide updates as conditions warrant.