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Tag: Homeland Security

Texas Judge’s Decision to Halt Immigration Plan Renews Hope of Homeland Security Funding

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A Texas judge’s decision to temporarily halt President Obama’s immigration plan could make it easier for Congress to find a temporary solution to keep Homeland Security funded, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Republicans said they may now have support for a short-term extension to avoid a shutdown at Homeland Security.

The news comes after U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction to temporarily halt Obama’s executive order so that another court could first hear arguments in the case.

“That would open the door to at least the possibility of some kind of short-term funding,” Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana, a member of House Republican leadership, said Tuesday.

“My hope would be that this ruling encourages Senate Democrats to reassess their opposition to allowing debate on the House-passed [Homeland Security funding] bill,” Messer added.

The sentiment was mirrored by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, S-South Carolina.

“If a court issues an injunction, I think it would be appropriate for us to consider the possibility of funding appropriations” while the judicial system considers it, he said.

Texas Judge Blocks President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s immigration plans have been placed on hold by a federal judge in Texas so that states have time to argue their case against the president’s controversial executive action.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen blocked the plan with a preliminary injunction, ABC News reports.

The judge said the injunction was necessary so states could proceed with a lawsuit without suffering “irreparable harm.”

The White House issued a statement, saying the president made a lawful action that presidents have been making for decades.

 

“The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws—which is exactly what the President did when he announced commonsense policies to help fix our broken immigration system. Those policies are consistent with the laws passed by Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as five decades of precedent by presidents of both parties who have used their authority to set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws,” the statement reads.

“The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts, and the district court inWashington, D.C. have determined that the President’s actions are well within his legal authority. Top law enforcement officials, along with state and local leaders across the country, have emphasized that these policies will also benefit the economy and help keep communities safe. The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision.”

House Speaker Boehner ‘Certainly’ Prepared to Let Homeland Security Shut Down

John A. Boehner By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Speaker John A. Boehner said he’s “certainly” willing to let Homeland Security shut down at the end of the month.

The New York Times reports that Boehner said he won’t budge on a spending bill that would remove funding for President Obama’s immigration policy.

“The House has done its job; we’ve spoken,” Mr. Boehner said on “Fox News Sunday.” “If the Senate doesn’t like it, they’ll have to produce something that fits their institution.”

The House passed the Homeland Security bill last month, but it “stands no chance of becoming law.”

“Senate Democrats have filibustered it; Mr. Obama has said he would veto it; and even some Senate Republicans, including John McCain of Arizona, have questioned the wisdom of the House’s unyielding position, raising doubts that the bill would get even 51 Republican votes in the Senate.”

Bloomberg Column: Republicans Need Quick Course in ‘Shutdown Showdown 101’

By Jonathan Bernstein
Bloomberg

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security is about to expire, and Republicans are bickering about what to do next. It’s time for a quick course in Shutdown Showdown 101.

House Republicans passed a funding bill last month loaded with veto bait — riders that would block President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Senate Democrats (with support from one Republican, Dean Heller of Nevada) have filibustered, not even allowing the Senate to begin work on the bill. If nothing is resolved by the end of the month, Homeland Security will technically shut down. Most of its functions are “essential” so will continue anyway, though others won’t, and some employees may not be paid until the impasse ends.

But these (partial) shutdown showdowns always end. In this case, it may be before the department is set to close, or sometime later in March or even April. And some final agreement will be supported, however reluctantly, by the Republican House speaker, the Republican Senate majority leader and the Democratic president.

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell know that. So they also know tea-party types will blame one or both of them as sellouts and squishes. If they had only fought longer or with sufficient grit (the demagogues will say), the Democrats would have caved, and Republicans could have claimed a complete victory.

To read more click here.

Other Stories of Interest

Republicans in Congress Reach Impasse on Funding for Homeland Security

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is within two months of running out of money, and Republican Congressional leaders acknowledge they don’t have the votes for their budget plan for the department.

The New York Times reports that Republicans have reached an impasse after failing three times to pass a bill to finance Homeland Security.

“I think it’s clearly stuck in the Senate,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader. “We can’t get on it, we can’t offer amendments to it. And the next step is obviously up to the House.”

 

The budget impasse follows attempts by the GOP to prevent President Obama from carrying out his immigration policies.

GOP leaders said the Republican have not started working on an alternative.

Homeland Security Chief Warns of 30,000 Furloughs If Congress Doesn’t Reach Funding Pact

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If Congress fails to reach a funding agreement by the end of February, Homeland Security will furlough at least 30,000 workers in what could have far-reaching ramifications, the department’s head, Jeh Johnson, said.

The Huffington Post reports that Johnson is stepping up his rhetoric in the face of a potential DHS shutdown.

“This is not a situation to make light of,” Johnson told CNN. “In these challenging times we need a fully funded Department of Homeland Security.”

Johnson said FEMA would furlough about 80% of its employees.

“I am on Capitol Hill now virtually every working day talking to Democrats and Republicans about the importance of a fully funded Department of Homeland Security in these times in particular,” said Johnson. “Let’s not forget that the Department of Homeland Security interfaces with the American public more than any other department in our government at airports and at ports.”

Other Stories of Interest

Republican’s Last-Ditch Effort to Halt President’s Immigration Plan Is Destined to Fail

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Even if Republicans pass a spending measure intended to squash President Obama’s executive action on immigration, they won’t be successful, PBS.org reports.

PBS notes that a shutdown, which would happen if a funding plan isn’t in place by Feb. 27, would not impact about 85% of the agency’s workers, including those charged with implementing the president’s executive action.

As evidenced in the September 2013 shutdown, most of the Homeland Security jobs are deemed “necessary for safety of human life or protection of property” or because they are “funded by sources other than annual appropriated funds.”

But the shutdown would impact new border surveillance, FEMA disaster funding and the hiring of Secret Service agents for the presidential candidates.

 

Washington Post Editorial: GOP Flirts with Disaster by Threatening Homeland Security Funding

By Washington Post
Editorial Board

How far will Republicans in Congress take their reckless flirtation with undermining government this time?

Will they, as seems increasingly likely, fail to pass a bill that the president can sign ensuring adequate funding for the Department of Homeland Security and its 280,000 employees before the agency’s support expires Feb. 27? Are they ready to let funding lapse, secure in the knowledge that Border Patrol officers, Secret Service agents, airport security personnel and other so-called essential employees would still have to report to work — even though they would not be drawing paychecks?

A number of prominent Republican lawmakers clearly believe that denying funding to the nation’s premier organ of domestic security is no big deal, as long as the move expresses the GOP’s anger about President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

As Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) put it to Politico: Letting the department’s funding lapse would not be “the end of the world.”

Mr. Diaz-Balart’s complacency may come as news to Americans concerned about the risk of terrorism in the wake of attacks in Paris, Ottawa, Sydney and elsewhere. It certainly came as news to Homeland Security SecretaryJeh C. Johnson, as well as his three predecessors — Democrat Janet Napolitano and Republicans Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge — all of whom have warned GOP lawmakers not to conflate essential funding for the department with the political fight over immigration.

 

House Republicans were deaf to such appeals. Last month, they passed a bill furnishing the department with $40 billion in funding through September, the end of the current budget year. But they attached provisions to that bill, certain to draw a presidential veto, that would kill the administration’s plan to temporarily protect several million undocumented immigrants from deportation and repeal a program, in force since 2012, that offers a similar shield to people brought here illegally as children.

There is room for legitimate debate over the president’s most recent unilateral moves on immigration, which we happen to agree represent executive overreach. If congressional Republicans want to attack those actions responsibly, with discrete legislation, they are free to try — though they are unlikely to muster the votes to override a presidential veto.

However, it is another thing to wield their frustration over immigration as a cudgel, holding hostage an entire department of government that is critical to the nation’s security. That is as irresponsible as it is politically ill advised.

To read more click here.