Our Security is Safe for Now: Homeland Security Funding Passes

After a seven week stalemate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $40 billion homeland security funding bill on Tuesday, despite a major fight surrounding it. Those against the bill were angry that it did not contain immigration provisions that would stop President Obama’s executive orders to prevent the deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants. With a 257-167 vote, the bill will continue to fund the Department of Homeland Security and prevents a partial shutdown of the agency, which was set to run out of money at midnight Friday.

Our Bronx elected officials have begun to weight in on the subject:

Congressman Eliot Engel (16th CD):

“I am pleased the House Republican leadership finally came to their senses and allowed us to vote for a clean DHS funding bill for the remainder of the fiscal year. Putting our security at risk in the name of nonsensical political posturing was always a short-sighted—and dangerous—approach to handling a policy disagreement with the President. House Republicans played reckless games with our national security for too long. As I said from the beginning, if we had a clean DHS bill Republicans would join Democrats in a strong sign of support. Thankfully Congress was able to set aside partisanship and fund DHS.”

Congressman Joe Crowley (14th CD):

“After bringing our Homeland Security to the brink of a shutdown, I’m glad Republicans have finally realized the futility in refusing to protect the American people. Picking a fight with President Obama and jeopardizing the safety of American families was not only absurd, but it was downright dangerous. We have big challenges ahead of us and Democrats stand ready to work on behalf of the American people. It is time for Republicans to put an end to these partisan games once and for all and join us in enacting an agenda that creates jobs, boosts paychecks, encourages investment, and puts American families first.”

Congressman Charlie Rangel (13th CD)

“I am very pleased that 75 Republicans did the right thing by joining Democrats to ensure everyone in America remains protected from serious threats. My Democratic Colleagues and I fought tirelessly, in the face of radical opposition, to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security. Today, with the passage of a bill to fund DHS through September, the safety of our country prevailed over Republicans’ radical, anti-immigrant demands. No one should play games with our national security.”

Congressman Jose Serrano (15th CD):

“After five failed attempts to pass an extreme anti-immigrant legislation that put us on the brink of a Department of Homeland Security shutdown last week, I am glad Republicans finally decided to put radical right-wing politics aside and let the House vote on a clean funding bill. As was clearly demonstrated throughout this process, the budget is not the place to debate and shape our national immigration policy. Now the only obstacle preventing the Administration from starting to implement the President’s executive action on immigration is a Texas federal district court’s temporary ruling, which the U.S. Department of Justice plans to appeal. The Department has already requested a stay to prevent this ruling from taking effect, and I am confident the executive order’s validity and legality will ultimately prevail.”

It is hoped that the majority party in Congress will stop playing games with the lives of people. This columnist deplores the hostage taking strategy of the Republicans.

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