February 27, 2015

HIRONO: IT’S SPEAKER BOEHNER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO END THIS MANUFACTURED CRISIS & SEND A CLEAN DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BILL TO THE PRESIDENT

Washington, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement after this morning’s vote in the Senate for a clean bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security:

“Despite the fact that the House has put us on the brink of shutting down the Department of Homeland Security, I’m hopeful after this morning’s vote that Congress will send the President a clean bill to fund DHS. But now, it is in Speaker Boehner’s hands. It is up to Speaker Boehner to end this manufactured crisis and pass this clean full-year funding bill through the House. Our national security is at stake. If the House fails to get a clean DHS funding bill to the President’s desk by midnight, most of the 200,000 DHS employees across the country, including nearly 2,000 based in Hawaii, will be furloughed or forced to work without pay. Furthermore, the many furloughs at DHS headquarters will mean that FEMA disaster assistance grants will not be processed for those affected by Hurricane Iselle and the lava flow on Hawaii Island. It is reckless and irresponsible to shut down a federal agency charged with protecting all of us.

“I urge Speaker Boehner to avoid pursuing a short-term continuing resolution that only passes the buck for a few more weeks.  A short-term continuing resolution doesn’t fix this problem and only leads to continued uncertainty for our homeland security efforts. It’s time that the House join the Senate in passing a clean DHS funding bill and sending it to the President’s desk.”

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security is set to expire on February 27. The President has been clear he will veto any policy riders that undo his executive action and harm millions of students and families. The original House Republican bill would force an untenable choice between shutting down the Department of Homeland Security or deporting children and families. If a DHS funding bill fails to pass, front-line personnel will continue to work but will not get paid, including nearly 2,000 in Hawaii.