With just one week until the agency would be forced to shut down, the Homeland Security Department has begun preparing for an appropriations lapse.
The department is taking “prudent steps” to update its 2013 shutdown guidance, a DHS official told Government Executive. If Congress fails to reach a funding agreement by Feb. 27, the agency would officially shut down.
Practically speaking, because so many DHS functions are fee funded or entail “performing emergency work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,” most of the department’s employees would still report to work even if Congress fails to pass an 11th hour funding measure next week. DHS does not have to reach back far to map out exactly what that situation would look like, including who would be furloughed and who would have to work temporarily without pay, as the entire government shutdown for two weeks in 2013.