The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has one vital mission: to protect the United States from domestic and international threats. This goal requires the hard work and dedication of over 240,000 employees in jobs that range from emergency response to cybersecurity…
With a partial shutdown of the DHS eminent due to a lack of approved funding, Congress recently approved a one-week extension to keep the agency running at full capacity at the 11th hour.
While the measure is only a temporary band aid, it gives House leadership time to come up with a more permanent solution that will keep the department funded. Only hours before the midnight deadline on February 27, lawmakers were feverishly squabbling to get something passed, since many feared that even a temporary shutdown would make the United States more susceptible to growing international threats, including from ISIS. Lawmakers now have a tough road ahead of them as they try to pass legislation that will keep one of America’s most vital departments funded.
GOP lawmakers must first decide if they will continue to try and block the implementation of the Presidents executive action on immigration, which is where the divide exists between the two parties. Because the DHS overseas all immigration activities, some lawmakers are concerned about the funding of this specific program, since many are vehemently against its implementation.
Without both Republicans and Democrats coming to a bipartisan consensus in the coming days, this same scenario could be played out again in less than a week, much to the dismay of a majority of American voters.
While the DHS has dodged a bullet for now, top level officials must now wait on pins and needles, hoping that both parties will somehow come to an agreement to avert a shutdown.