The Secret Service would be prepared to provide security for the State of the Union address, even during a government shutdown, according to a law enforcement official. Most of the agency’s employees are considered essential and have been working without pay for the past several weeks.
That has included most personnel responsible for planning security measures around the address, the official said. Meetings have continued to take place about the event during the shutdown. The official said security planning for the State of the Union started months ago, before the shutdown began.
Still, some employees who would be involved in the planning are currently on furlough and not working — both at Secret Service and at other government agencies. That includes some people in intelligence and logistics roles.
Because the State of the Union is a designated "National Special Security Event," it requires assets and support not just from the United States Secret Service but across multiple government agencies, including some closed by the shutdown, a separate law enforcement source told CNN. That could be difficult to plan and execute because of the lapse in funding, the source said.
Some context: Of 7,222 Secret Service employees, 5,978 are considered essential and would have to work unpaid during a shutdown.