New Deadline Looms for DHS Funding
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
The long-term safety and security of American travelers remain up in the air.
Yes, Congress narrowly avoided a partial shutdown of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when the Senate passed a bill just hours before funding dried up at midnight on Friday.
However, government officials were only able to prolong the looming deadline with a one-week extension.
The bill that passed through the Senate by way of a 68-31 vote on Friday removed previous restrictions on President Obama's executive actions on immigration and would fund the DHS through September 2015.
But House Republicans shot down a three-week extension of DHS funding on Friday in an effort to block the President's orders, meaning it's back to the drawing board this week.
According to FoxNews.com, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said on "America’s News Headquarters" that Republicans are going to destroy their "last best chance...to convince the country that we are capable of running the country."
"We're about to make mistakes of a lifetime if we don’t understand reality when it comes to DHS funding," he added.
Essentially, nothing has changed since Friday's disappointing result in the nation's capital.
If the deadline does pass before Congress is able to agree on new legislation, a partial shutdown of the DHS would likely affect more than 200,000 department workers, including Transportation Security Administration officials and border partrol agents, among others.
More than 30,000 administrative workers would likely be furloughed, which would require others to fill the vacant roles without pay.
For air travelers, that could mean longer lines at airport security checkpoints in the short-term. And while the long-term repercussions of a partial DHS shutdown remain to be seen, a depleted, overworked and discontent DHS would undoubtedly jeopardize the safety and security of American travelers.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson summed up the importance of ensuring funding last week, pointing out that "there are consequences if we have to exist on...another continuing resolution past Friday night."
"There are huge drawbacks to that. And so we need—on behalf of the American public—a fully funded Department of Homeland Security," added Johnson.
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