US President Barack Obama on Monday cautioned the governors against a possible shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security, saying such a condition would have a “direct impact” on their respective states.
The fear of the Homeland Security Department’s shutdown is looming large as both Republicans and Democrats in Senate are in the political slugfest over President Barack Obama’s executive actions on the immigration policies. This has withheld the crucial funding bill that would provide financing to the agency, which will run out of money on Friday.
“The shutdown will have a direct impact on the states’ economy and it will also have a direct impact on the national security of America because their hard work helps to keep us safe,” Obama told the National Governors Association.
Nearly 15 percent of the 230,000 Homeland Security employees, i.e. roughly 30,000, would be furloughed if the agency is closed. The DHS employees would be left without paychecks if Senate fails to pass the funding bill before Saturday.
“They all work in your states. If they don’t have a paycheck, they are not going to be able to spend that money in your states,” the President said citing the possible effects of department shutdown.
Republicans in Congress have voted in favor of bill that intends to fund Homeland Security Department with legislation that guts Obama’s executive actions that could allow millions of illegal immigrants to live in the country. On the other hand, Senate Democrats have refused to advance the bill, saying they will not support a bill containing no amendments related to immigration.
The so-called security-minded Republican governors, including those who are mulling over running for presidential election in 2016, have attacked Obama over the issue and have also blamed him for the budget standoff which is taking place as ISIS militancy group is expanding its hold beyond the Middle East.
The Democratic President urged for a solution to the impasses over funding bill in Congress, saying governors that “we can’t afford to play politics with our national security”.