The DHS Budget

If anyone thought the Republican majority on both chambers of Congress was going to quell the internal partisan disputes that have deadlocked Washington, the situation of the Homeland Security (DHS) budget has dashed any remaining hopes.

Funding for DHS is due to expire in only a couple of days, and if a new budget plan does not get approved, some 200,000 employees will be temporarily without a job.

Lack of money will not mean the closing of a federal agency in charge of domestic security in times of worries – as exaggerated as they might be – about a terrorist threat. 85% of DHS personnel would continue working without pay as they have been deemed essential for security.

This is not fair, but it falls right in with the possibility suggested by some conservative congressmen and columnists who back a DHS “shutdown” while blaming Democratic senators for opposing a budget that eliminates all executive actions and restores policies helping the quick deportation of undocumented immigrants.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, is blaming the Democrats for the deadlock when, in fact, there are some Republican senators, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who support separating DHS funding from immigration – even more so after the Texas ruling against the White House. But to no avail.

Some conservative legislators are giving priority to opposing executive actions, hoping that the impact of a partial shutdown will be negligible, and that Obama will take the blame anyway.

In reality, the odds that the House demands on immigration will get approved are remote, because they will need 67 votes to overcome an inevitable presidential veto in the unlikely event that it passes the Senate.

We hope that the DHS funding and the executive actions will be dealt with separately. If done as it is now, it would be a costly victory of the most extremist faction of the GOP over the more reasonable sector. We hope good sense will prevail