Homeland Security chief slams Congress over lack of new funding

Greg Nash

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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson on Monday slammed Congress for not funding his agency for the entire fiscal year.

{mosads}Speaking from Dilley, Texas, Johnson said Congress must pay for enhanced security at the nation’s borders.

“Congress has failed to act on this department’s request for supplemental funding for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, to pay for our surge in resources to the southern border in response to last summer’s spike in illegal migration there,” he said.

“We need to pay the bill for that surge, and keep those resources in place for the future.”

The $1.1 trillion spending bill Congress passed last week only funds DHS through Feb. 27. GOP leaders decided to pursue the short-term funding to satisfy conservatives who wanted to defund President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

That portion of the spending package, known as a continuing resolution, only carries over funding forward from the previous fiscal year. The spending package funds the rest of the government through September 2015.

Johnson said Homeland Security is “in further jeopardy” because the agency won’t receive any new funding. Many Democrats also conveyed this argument in the lead-up to the bill’s unveiling last week.

“If Congress is interested in supporting the border security measures outlined here, it should act on our budget request for fiscal year 2015,” Johnson added.

Johnson outlined the new executive actions on immigration that defer deportations for about five million people who came to the U.S. illegally. He also announced the opening of a new detention center in Texas meant to house adults who cross the U.S. border illegally with their children.

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