The brutal terrorist attack on the satirical Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo may work against GOP plans to possibly defund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Congress is facing a political struggle this week over DHS funding, which expires on Feb. 27. The DHS money was left out of last year's budget plan as leverage for conservatives wanting to stymie President Barack Obama's executive actions to block deportation for millions of illegal aliens.
The House has hatched a plan to roll back Obama's efforts with an amendment to be attached to the $39.7 billion bill to fund DHS.
However, the Senate, mindful of the difficulty in getting enough votes to block a Democrat filibuster or override a virtually certain presidential veto should the House plan pass — and aware of new fears of domestic terrorism triggered by the attacks in Paris — are leery of shutting down DHS, The Wall Street Journal reports
Kathleen Connery Dawe, spokeswoman for Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, told the Journal: "Sen. King does not support the House bill to defund the president’s executive action on immigration. Withholding funds from the Department of Homeland Security would be particularly dangerous at a time of worldwide terrorist threats."
Across the board, the Journal reported, senators seem ready to block the House plan and keep DHS funded.
An aide to Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, told the Journal: "I wish the president wouldn’t have gone out on his own, but threatening the Department of Homeland Security’s budget doesn’t solve the immigration crisis or strengthen our borders."
The House bill would kill Obama's unilateral actions blocking deportation and issuing work permits for up to 5 million illegal aliens.
It also would halt Obama's 2012 program to stop deportation for those brought illegally to the U.S. as children, reverse his prioritizing of those with criminal records and recent illegal immigrants because that implies security to other illegals, and reinstate the Secure Communities program, under which local law enforcement could hold illegal immigrants they encountered for federal authorities.
Even within the House, enthusiasm for shutting down DHS is waning. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, citing the Paris massacre, said: "We want to stop this executive action, but I think responsible individuals like myself have no desire to shut down this department. It’s too important to the national security interests of the United States."
Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota, told the Journal: "You look at what’s going on in Paris as we stand here. Obviously Homeland Security is a very high priority."
And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told Politico
: "At the end of the day, we’re going to fund the department."
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