Former FBI special agent reacts to partial government shutdown


For many, the question in mind during the partial government shutdown is what federal workers will do without pay during the holiday season, but a former FBI special agent in charge said they will eventually see that money. 

Since the partial shutdown began on Sat. (Dec. 22), hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been impacted. Nearly 400,000 of them on furloughed or unpaid leave.

“Not every FBI agent is really essential to day-to-day work of the FBI to national security to stopping any violent threats that we have at the moment,” said Michael Tabman, former special agent in charge. “It depends on what they’re doing.”

Tabman was working at the FBI headquarters during the 21 day shutdown in 1995. 

“You still get the work done and those who are here if there’s really a shortage, they’re going to dig in and they’re just going to work that much harder and longer hours if necessary to get it done,” Tabman said. 

TSA agents, air traffic controllers and the FBI are some of the federal employees who are working without pay during the partial shutdown. Tabman said eventually they will get paid. 

“We always got paid for our work and if it comes late, it comes late,” said Tabman. “I know that’s an inconvenience for those who are living paycheck to paycheck. I do understand that, but we never worried if we were gonna get paid. We always got paid.”

One of the biggest ways Tabman said people could feel the impact this time around is holiday plans. 

“I feel worse for people who plan vacations around going to government parks and monuments,” Tabman said. “I hate to see those taken away from people who are just trying to enjoy everything they paid to the government and get something back and it’s taken away for really no legitimate reason.” 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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