Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) called on Congressional leaders to end the threat of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shutdown at the end of the month. If a DHS shutdown were to occur, around 30,000 employees would be impacted by furloughs, including federal emergency response workers, and thousands of TSA security screeners and Border Patrol agents would be forced to work as their paychecks are held in limbo.
“Given the dire threats America faces both at home and abroad, now is not the time to be playing political games with our national security. The House should move forward immediately with a vote on a clean funding bill that would provide certainty and stability to the frontline DHS personnel who protect our nation,” Bustos and other House Democrats wrote in a letter to Speaker Boehner.
Under a DHS shutdown, about 30,000 employees would be furloughed, including many who perform critical tasks that simply won’t get done during a shutdown. An estimated 22 percent of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employees would be furloughed. Many more DHS employees, including TSA aviation security screeners and Border Patrol agents, would be forced to work without pay, creating a significant distraction and dealing a blow to morale.
Bustos supports the clean DHS funding bill that was introduced by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY-17) and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) earlier this month. This bill would avert a shutdown and provide long-term funding to the Department of Homeland Security.
Last month, former Republican Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, former Republican Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, and former Democratic Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, wrote a joint letter to Congress calling on Congress to pass a clean DHS funding bill.
The full text of the letter from Bustos and other House Democrats to Speaker Boehner is HERE.