State Dept. forced to cancel border security conference amid shutdown

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The State Department has been forced to cancel an international conference about border security amid the partial government shutdown, The Hill has confirmed.

A State Department spokesperson told The Hill that the 16th annual International Export Control and Border Security Conference set to take place in Scotland next month has been canceled due to “very limited funding available during the lapse in appropriations.” 

The spokesperson noted that the event typically brings together more than 250 “export control and border security practitioners” from 85 countries.{mosads}

“In light of the very limited funding available during the lapse in appropriations, the Department will exercise judicious use of limited, remaining resources,” the State Department spokesperson said. “Travel, hiring, contracting, public affairs, and other activities will continue to operate in a constrained manner.”

Kathryn Insley, director of the State Department’s Office of Export Control Cooperation, announced the conference’s cancellation in a letter first reported by CNN on Tuesday.

Insley wrote to dozens of U.S. embassies and missions worldwide saying that officials are “working to identify alternative dates” and would be in contact when operational again.

Insley’s letter was signed Jan. 16, according to CNN. She asked U.S. missions and embassies to alert “the appropriate host government officials who have been nominated to attend the Conference.”

The current partial government shutdown, which has now reached its 32nd day, is affecting an estimated 800,000 federal workers who are either furloughed or working without pay.

The shutdown largely stems from a fight over border security, as President Trump demands more than $5 billion in border wall funding while Democrats have refused to give that amount.

Updated: 6:22 p.m.

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