Federal law enforcement in Victoria exempt from government shutdown effects

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Sept. 30, 2013 at 4:30 a.m.

While it may be business as usual for federal law enforcement, some Social Security programs will be affected if the government shuts down.

Both the U.S. Marshal's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations have developed contingency plans if budget negotiations failed Monday night and the federal government shuts down Tuesday.

U.S. Marshals are not subject to furlough, so they will continue securing the federal courthouse; overseeing prisoner custody, security and transportation; and apprehending fugitives, according to the plan.

FBI agents are also exempt. They will continue investigating existing cases and will still be able to launch new ones, according to the plan.

The U.S. District Clerk's Office and the federal judiciary in general, meanwhile, will be open for another 10 days. It will reassess the situation Oct. 15.

"All proceedings and deadlines will remain in effect as scheduled unless otherwise advised," the office wrote in a statement on its website.

Veterans Affairs medical facilities and clinics will remain fully operational, according to its website.

The Social Security Administration; however, would limit its offerings.

It will not be able to issue new or replacement Social Security cards, replace a Medicare card or issue a proof of income letter.

Administrative law judges would continue to conduct hearings, and Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments would still be sent, according to a statement on their website.

Victoria postmaster Ken Epley said residents should not experience a disruption in their postal service.

That's because "for the past 20 years the Postal Service has operated solely on the revenue it takes in," said Sam Bolen, a Postal Service spokesman in Austin.

Epley said the office at 312 South Main Street will also continue to accept passport applications that it forwards to the State Department.

Those interested in obtaining a passport do not need to make an appointment. Passport service is available from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, he said.

"It should be business as usual," Epley said.

Officials with the Golden Crescent Head Start Program and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge could not be reached for comment Monday.



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