Hi everyone, welcome back to Fiscal Friday! This is Bess Byers with A Generation Empowered. There’s a cold front coming through, but that’s not the only freeze in DC. The Department of Homeland Security is approaching a funding freeze due to a budget debate over Obama’s executive amnesty.
But first, let’s backtrack… When politicians passed that atrocious Omnibus bill, it allowed funding for every government agency except DHS, which runs out February 27. Republicans blocked funding as a way to stop the President’s immigration order. If you missed this, in November Obama deferred deportation of 5 million illegal immigrants and allowed them to obtain work permits. So there’s the beef. Fast forward a few months and as always, politicians are down to the wire to determine their next move.
Republicans put forth a $39 billion DHS funding bill that blocks Obama’s November policy, but Dems don’t plan to budge. Senator Chuck Schumer said Democrats remain united in their belief DHS funding, “should not be used as ransom by republicans, period.”
So what happens if there’s a shutdown? Some employees will be given time off without pay, but most won’t. DHS employs 240,000 people (holy smokes that’s a lot of tax dollars) and many of those programs are funded by fees, which won’t be impacted by a lapse in funding. In fact, most immigration services will continue, so defunding DHS won’t prevent Obama’s order from taking effect. It’s almost like the whole thing is a political smokescreen.
Twenty-six states sued the federal government to block immigration, and on Monday, a Texas judge threw a wrench into things when he ruled Obama’s actions unconstitutional. It’s unclear how this will impact funding, as the White House plans to appeal and Republicans assert this supports stance.
While DHS is like, "show me the money!" it’s Americans who suffer. Sure DHS funds the turd burglars at TSA, but they also do a lot more. The agency oversees funding for high-risk chemical facilities, radiological and nuclear detection and aerosolized biological agents. Basically, shit that matters.
Politicians need to stop squabbling like tweens on MySpace and get it together. Keep our country safe and seriously, re-evaluate you priorities.
This is Bess Byers, coming atcha from the Jefferson Memorial, and remember, it’s your generation and you’re empowered!