Trump's obsession with a border wall is getting truly dangerous.
A group representing FBI agents sent a letter to Congress warning that the Trump shutdown is "not sustainable," and that it's dangerously close to compromising national security.
The letter from the FBI Agents Association lays out the reasons a government shutdown is a problem both for law enforcement agents and for the nation as a whole.
"This situation is not sustainable," the FBIAA warned. "The important work done by the Bureau needs to be funded immediately." The FBIAA represents the overwhelming majority of active FBI agents.
The FBIAA cautioned that "as those on the frontlines in the fight against criminals and terrorists, we urge expediency before financial insecurity compromises national security."
But this dire warning is falling on deaf ears.
Before leaving for a politically motivated photo-op at the southern border, Trump had the audacity to attack Democrats as being unconcerned about the security and safety of the country.
"Again, there is no reason why we can't come to a deal," Trump told reporters. "But you have another side that doesn't care about border security. The Democrats — which I've been saying all along — they don't give a damn about crime."
Contrary to Trump's untethered bloviating, it is the Democrats who are diligently trying to end the shutdown.
On her first day leading a new Democratic majority as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) passed bills to reopen the government, which included funding the FBI. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in cowering deference to Trump, blocked the Senate from taking similar action.
As Pelosi put it, Republicans refuse to take "yes" for an answer. And the dangers of Republican inaction are mounting.
One of the main issues identified in the letter involves the security standards needed to be an FBI agent. In order to maintain their security clearances, agents must undergo "routine financial background checks to ensure that Agents are financially stable and responsible."
But with the Trump shutdown, there is a danger that agents — who are among the 800,000 federal workers going without a paycheck right now — could miss payments on debts they owe.
"Not only could the shutdown delay new or renewed security clearances, it could keep some agents out of active duty," Politico reports.
Trump is constantly lying about immigrants posing a danger to national security. But in reality, it's Trump's actions — aided and abetted by complicit Republicans in Congress — that are truly endangering the country.
This danger is coming in many forms. Recently, the world's largest union of airline pilots warned that air travel could become less safe because of the Trump shutdown. And the FDA is currently unable to properly inspect the nation's food supply, which could have monumental consequences if contaminated food makes it to market.
In addition to those dangers, thousands of people are at risk of being evicted from their homes because of the lack of funds available for certain housing programs. National parks have closed or become overridden with human excrement.
In December, Trump boldly proclaimed he would be "proud" to own the shutdown. With that ownership comes the responsibility for dealing with the consequences. And right now, those consequences include making America a less safe, less secure place to live.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.