As the clock ticks on a possible Homeland Security shutdown amid a funding debate attached to immigration reforms, some Republicans are struggling with how to move forward and avert such a closure, The Hill
Rising Islamic State (ISIS) terror threats around the world have allowed Democrats to capitalize on growing concerns just as GOP lawmakers hope to strip away President Barack Obama's divisive executive order on immigration by attempting to withhold the department's funding, The Hill said.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sharply criticized the politicization of national security, The Hill said.
"Now, we are 18 days away from having no money for the Department of Homeland Security," said Reid, who is seeking a funding legislation that does not include immigration issues.
"Republicans are hell-bent on playing chicken with our national security," Reid said.
GOP lawmakers in the Senate face tough decisions as the Feb. 27 deadline approaches.
The Hill cited three possible strategies they might employ: abandon efforts "to use the DHS funding bill to torpedo Obama’s immigration actions, and instead turn to the court system"; pass a short-term continuing resolution to keep Homeland afloat; work up a compromise bill, and merge it quickly with already-passed House legislation in conference.
As tempers flare, Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson is calling on lawmakers not to play politics and tie his agency's funding to immigration reforms, The Washington Post
"If people in Congress want to have that debate about immigration reform, let's have that debate. But don't tie that to public safety and homeland security for the American people," Johnson said in an interview with CNN
He warned that furloughs of at least 30,000 employees would be the next step if funding for the Homeland Security Department doesn't come through.
Those layoffs, Johnson said, could include about 80 percent of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, CNN added.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.