On Monday, President Obama warned that a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security would not only impact national security, but also the nation’s economy.
On Friday, spending for the DHS will expire at midnight if Congress doesn’t approve new funding. If Congress does not approve funding, essential employees would be required to work unpaid. A $39.7 billion budget that would allow the department to remain fully functional is currently stalled in Congress over Republican provisions that block spending on Obama’s recent executive orders on immigration.
“It will have a direct impact on your economy, and it will have a direct impact on America's national security because their hard work helps to keep us safe,” President Obama said of a potential shutdown.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson stressed that a shutdown would cause many DHS headquarters employees to be furloughed.
“If our headquarters staff is cut back to a skeleton, that inhibits our ability to stay on top of a lot of the existing situations and challenges to homeland security right now,” Johnson said, warning that a shutdown wouldn’t be “in the public's best interest.”
Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson said in a statement that Republicans and Democrats should be working together to find a way to fund the department.
“Responsible members of both parties must work together to find some way to fund DHS without further delay,” Johnson said.