Politics: Congressional Debate on DHS Funding

Currently, the funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in charge of protecting United States land and territories, is set to expire Friday, February 27th, and Congress has yet to pass a new bill extending the funding. Democrats and Republicans are both playing hardball as they try to negotiate a bill before the deadline, which would lead to non-essential employees not being paid until a resolution is found. Most recently, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has spoken out saying that Senate Democrats are blocking a bill for funds because the same bill rescinds some of President Obama’s executive actions regarding immigration. Boehner also called for a more robust and authoritative stance from Obama regarding the fight against ISIS, or ISIL.

In return, the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Boehner of excessive posturing and says that the House Republicans are blocking a bill to prevent a government shut down and jeopardizing the safety of all Americans. Pelosi and others are calling for a “clean bill,” one that has no addendums, such as immigration, and focuses solely on funding for the DHS. A decision has yet to be made on this subject, but Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the newest chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is optimistic that compromise is imminent, explaining that “It needs to be resolved, and I think it will be.” Due to the time sensitive nature of the issue, neither side wants to go without a functioning Department of Homeland Security, and Corker is confident that the funding will be found.

Contributor: Raina Searles

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