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Political Pressures Weigh On Homeland Security Funding46:21
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A battle over executive action on immigration, could lead by Friday to a funding cutoff for the Department of Homeland Security. We’ll look at the showdown and consequences.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Complex in Washington. (AP)
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Complex in Washington. (AP)

Congress, in something like a frenzy right now, at the intersection of a bunch of the hottest streams in national policy and politics:  immigration, national security, Presidential power, and money.  Republicans lashed themselves to a commitment to stop funding the Department of Homeland Security unless the President backed down on an executive order suspending deportation of a lot of undocumented immigrants.  Now, we are racing toward that defunded moment.  Friday.  There are a lot of cold feet out there.  And determination. This hour On Point:  The fight right now in Washington.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Alan Gomez, immigration reporter for USA Today. (@alangomez)

Paul Kane, congressional reporter for the Washington Post. (@pkcapitol)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), US Representative for Ohio's Fourth Congressional District. (@jim_jordan)

Rep. Chris VanHollen (D-MD), US Representative for Maryland's Eighth Congressional District. (@chrisvanhollen)

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Border chief warns shutdown would harm border security -- "The head of Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that the agency's ability to monitor the Southwest border would be significantly diminished if Congress can't figure out a way to fund the agency. CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said several technological improvements that help track people and cargo crossing the border would have to be put on hold in the event of a shutdown. Congress is fighting over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which runs out of funding Feb. 27."

Washington Post: Homeland Security shutdown showdown: What we know, and what we don’t  — "The outlines of how DHS would shut down are pretty clear, since an unrelated battle with Obama in October 2013 led to a full shutdown of the federal government for 16 days. 'Essential' workers would report to duty but without pay; they would be at the borders protecting against drug dealers, manning airport security spots, preparing for emergency responses to natural disasters. Congress would probably provide back pay when funding came through. Tens of thousands of administrative staff would be furloughed; given what has happened in past shutdowns, they also would probably eventually be paid."

POLITICO: Homeland Security fight goes into crunch time — "Less than two months after taking charge of the Senate and vowing to avoid shutdowns, McConnell may be about to preside over the second one in 18 months for the sprawling DHS. That would send 30,000 employees home immediately and force 200,000 more to toil without paychecks until the impasse is cleared — potentially a huge blow to what Republicans had billed as their New American Congress."

This program aired on February 24, 2015.

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