On February 26, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson participated in a media availability to discuss the need for Congress to pass a clean full-year appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and how failing to fund DHS impacts a wide range of state and local law enforcement and emergency responders across the country.
Homeland Security Enterprise
If by the end of the week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not receive funding, the Department shuts down. A shutdown for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) means that most of our employees would still continue to come to work, without receiving a paycheck for that work until the shutdown ends.
Yesterday, Secretary Johnson was joined by leadership and employees from across the Department of Homeland Security to discuss the consequences of a permitting a DHS shutdown. “I am also honored to stand here today with the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, many of whom you see behind me. These are men and women who reflect a much larger workforce that is responsible for keeping our homeland safe,” Secretary Johnson said.
Good afternoon. I am pleased to be joined this afternoon by the Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the Commissioner of CBP Gil Kerlikowske, the Under Secretary for NPPD Suzanne Spaulding, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, the Assistant Secretary for Immigration Customs Enforcement Sarah Saldana, the Director of the Secret Service Joe Clancy, Director of USCIS Leon Rodriguez, the acting administrator of TSA Mel Carraway and our CFO Chip Fulghum.
On any given day, there are roughly 7,000 personnel at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) facilities across the nation. Of that number, roughly 3,000 are law enforcement trainees from across the country. A DHS shutdown would have a real impact on our ability to provide training to law enforcement officers and agents across the country to ensure that they have the skills they need to do their jobs, and keep our communities safe and secure.
Today, United States Coast Guard men and women are standing the watch around the world in service to our Nation. Our efforts and mission success depend on reliable and predictable funding.
I continue to stress the need for a clean, full-year DHS appropriations bill for FY 2015, unburdened by politically charged amendments that attempt to defund our executive actions on immigration reform. The President has made plain that he will veto a bill that includes such language.
The clock is ticking, and time is running out. On February 27, the continuing resolution currently funding the Department of Homeland Security and its component agencies – including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – expires.
At present, the Department of Homeland Security is operating on a continuing resolution that expires on February 27. As long as this Department is funded by a continuing resolution, there are a whole series of activities vital to homeland security and public safety that cannot be undertaken. The public must be aware of the real impacts to homeland security as long as DHS is funded by a continuing resolution, or, still worse, if Congress were to permit our funding to lapse altogether and the Department of Homeland Security goes into government shutdown.