Pay on hold for federal law enforcement Trump vocally supports

By Kathryn Watson

/ CBS News

Why Trump shut down govt. over wall funding

Thousands of the federal law enforcement officers President Trump so often praises are working without pay over the holidays — at least for now — while the federal government is partially shut down over his demand for border wall funding.

Among them are thousands of Customs and Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers the president supports in protecting the southern border. Others are U.S. Secret Service agents who protect the president and his family.

More than 400,000 federal employees are expected to work without pay, while an additional 380,000 federal employees cannot work during the shutdown.

The shutdown went into effect overnight after the House and Senate left Capitol Hill with no agreement on how to keep many departments and agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, funded and open.

Secret Service agents were working as usual at the White House Saturday morning, with Mr. Trump postponing his trip to Mar-a-Lago in the wake of the shutdown. Those employees who still have to work are expected to receive back pay whenever a shutdown ends, but it's unclear when that will be.

As of early Saturday afternoon, the president hadn't publicly commented on the federal law enforcement officials working without pay.

Mr. Trump frequently lauds law enforcement, particularly border patrol and ICE agents. In August, he held a "Salute to the Heroes" event at the White House, calling law enforcement America's "greatest people" at the event.

In June. Mr. Trump tweeted, "To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit. You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements."

DHS estimates that 5,975 Secret Service employees are working without pay at the moment, out of 7,222 total Secret Service employees, according to DHS' contingency plan. The rest are furloughed. Additionally, DHS estimates 54,935 Customs and Border Protection employees, out of 60,109 total employees, are working without pay for the time being. The remainder are furloughed.

DHS also said 16,254 employees will continue to work during the shutdown, out of 20,052 employees total.

Negotiations were ongoing on Capitol Hill Saturday, although it's unclear if there is a path forward that Republicans, Democrats and the president can agree on, days away from Christmas. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday that it's up to Mr. Trump and Democrats to broker a deal.

First published on December 22, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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