Secretary Sally Jewell on a potential lapse in appropriated funds
September 27, 2013
Video will appear here.
Hi everyone. I wish it was a little happier circumstance that I’m doing this video to you but, as you know from looking in the media, we face the potential lapse in appropriations for our operations midnight this coming Monday, September 30th. It is time for Congress to act and we profoundly hope that they will with a continuing resolution to keep our operations going. But as you know, the complex world that we have in the Department of the Interior, it is absolutely critical that we have to put in place contingency plans in the event of a government shutdown. So today, on Friday, we published those plans on doi.gov/shutdown, along with some frequently asked questions. So I encourage you to go to the site, to take a look at the contingency plans for your specific area of operations. Most importantly, in these times of constrained resources and tough fiscal times, you’re working harder, you’re trying to do more with less; it’s very, very difficult. I appreciate the strain that these last few months and years have put on your families, and I know that this looming shutdown doesn’t help, that it makes it even more difficult. But I also want to say that I very much value your work and the American people value your work. So as we go through this, I encourage you to be supportive of each other, to recognize that this is a contingency plan that we hope won’t happen, and to recognized that whether you’re asked to come in or asked to be furloughed, that it has no bearing whatsoever on your value to the Department of the Interior. All of your jobs are valuable; the work that you do on behalf of the American people is very important. But when are appropriations are cut, we must scale our resources to the minimum possible level, and that is what we are doing. So it is in no way a reflection of your value to the organization. I also want to say that public service is a noble cause and profession, and I am proud to be among you. I know that these kind of actions not taken by Congress to support us on a regular basis don’t feel very supportive. I appreciate that. I want you to know, and I know the American people know that the work we do is very, very important to our public lands, to the tribes we support in so many ways, to the resources that we help develop. And I profoundly hope and will work to make sure that Congress does what it needs to do to act, and that we prepare the Department of the Interior, no matter what comes our way. So thank you very much for your hard work and contingency planning, for hanging in there with us during this period of uncertainty, and we’ll do everything we can to get past this quickly and get back to regular order in our business. So thanks, take care of your families, take care of each other, and I’m right there with you.