President Obama and congressional Democrats are offering up doomsday scenarios if the Department of Homeland Security funding authorization expires this Friday.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson implied on the talk shows Sunday morning that efforts to thwart terrorist attacks and assist Americans buried in snow could be imperiled if Republicans keep trying to de-fund the president’s executive action on illegal immigration. Johnson amplified his dire predictions that afternoon before a gathering of the National Governors Association, saying: “[A shutdown] means taking people off the front line and realigning their responsibility.” Not to be outdone, the president issued his own warning in a session Monday before the National Governors Association. A partial government shutdown, he said, would end up suspending pay for more than 100,000 Homeland Security agents, which “will have a direct impact on America’s national security because their hard work helps to keep us safe.”
All very interesting, except what they’re saying isn’t true. According to figures from the brief government shutdown last year, the department has 231,117 employees, 31,295 of whom, or 13.5 percent, were furloughed. A closer examination reveals that all essential personnel would remain on the job, from Secret Service agents who protect the president to TSA screeners protecting us in airports and counterterrorism personnel. Looked at another way, 87 percent of Homeland Security personnel were deemed essential and remained at their posts during the last funding impasse between the White House and Congress. Eighty-seven percent.
For their part, the Pretorian Guard, otherwise known as the mainstream media, are failing to inform Americans that nearly 90 percent of Homeland Security employees will remain on the job protecting us from a variety of harms.
Sadly, there is something more at play here, something that has made the American people increasingly pessimistic about Obama’s commitment to work with congressional majorities in the Congress to govern the country. After famously telling then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2009: “…Elections have consequences and Eric, I won,” Obama is remarkably defiant in ignoring voters who sent overwhelming majorities in Congress to put the brakes on his efforts to fundamentally transform the country.
The House passed a measure last month that fully funds the Department of Homeland Security at $39.7 billion—a $400 million increase from last year. But the president has threatened to veto the bill, and efforts to move legislation in the Senate have been stalled by Obama’s Democratic phalanx.
This standoff isn’t about funding for the Department of Homeland Security but Republican language to prohibit Obama from providing funds to his executive actions that would allow some illegal immigrants to remain in the country and apply for work permits. Obama knows that once the executive actions are taken, the proverbial genie will be out of the bottle and nearly impossible to stop. Hence the doom and gloom messages of how Republicans are putting the country at risk—all without telling the American people that the Department of Homeland Security will be fully funded save for the provisions Obama seeks to protect illegal immigrants.
The Constitution explicitly provides the Congress under Article I to enforce immigration and naturalization in the United States, but the former constitutional law lecturer adheres to his ideological fealty rather than the document he took an oath to protect and defend. Obama and his Democrat enablers are Chicken Littles predicting dire harm to the country when they know nothing is further than the truth.