Republicans are threatening to shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at a time when the threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) made it critical to send a "united signal to the rest of the world" about the importance of the agency, said Sen. Claire McCaskill.
The funding for Homeland Security stalled due to riders on a bill that would prevent President Barack Obama from funding his amnesty plan for illegal immigrants.
McCaskill, who sits on the Senate Armed Forces and Homeland Security Committees, said there was "plenty of time for us to debate immigration politics," and that it was a "terrible idea" to throw the agency's funding in jeopardy over the issue.
"We need to be sending a very clear, united signal to the rest of the world that we consider the funding of Homeland Security a priority," the Missouri Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday.
"The rest of the world is coming together figuring out how to do more with Homeland Security, and (Republicans) are threatening to shut it down."
ISIS had been able to "unite the world against them," McCaskill said, adding that the U.S. now had "allies like we have never had before in the struggle against terrorism." She said it was important for Congress to pass the Authorization for Use of Military Force that Obama requested on Wednesday.
The war authorization would allow Obama to train people and encourage "other countries to come in and fill the vacuum of leadership that we have to have, if we're ever going to be successful in the Middle East," McCaskill said.
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