Reintroducing the SHIELD Act, H.R. 55

January 17, 2013

The Honorable Mike Fitzpatrick
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Fitzpatrick:

I am writing on behalf of the more than 26,000 members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association to advise you of our strong support for H.R. 55, the "Strengthening Homeland Security, Intelligence, and Essential Law Enforcement Departments (SHIELD) Act of 2013." We appreciate your continued efforts on this legislation and steadfast support for our nation's law enforcement officers.

As we have seen on more than one occasion over the past two years, the risk of a shutdown due to the government reaching the statutory debt limit or because of a failure to enact annual appropriations is very real. And there is an equally valid concern with the significant impact that such a shutdown would have on the ability of the government to carry out its core functions of preserving law and order and providing for the defense of our nation. Clearly the duties performed by these brave men and women cannot be interrupted during a funding crisis. Recent experiences with preparing for a government shutdown or the potential of sequestration, however, have shown that federal law enforcement officers could face temporary furloughs, reductions in force, or other actions designed to temporarily reduce staffing levels in the event that a gap in funding occurs. Such actions are not in the best interest of our national security, and would have a negative impact on the safety of those officers who continue to operate during these periods.

That is why the legislation that you have introduced is so necessary. Under the SHIELD Act, the President and federal agencies would be required to prioritize the payment of pay and allowances to members of the Armed Forces and federal law enforcement officers in the event of a gap in funding. In so doing, it recognizes the importance of our military and law enforcement in guaranteeing our safety and security, even in times of fiscal uncertainty.

On behalf of the membership of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, thank you again for championing this important legislation and for your commitment to our nation's federal law enforcement officers. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.
Respectfully Yours,

Jon Adler
National President