GOP Rep Will Vote to Let Homeland Security Funding Lapse

At the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention, I asked Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC 7) if he would vote for a clean appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security, that is one without the Republican riders defunding President Obama’s executive order on immigration. Chuckling, the South Carolina congressman said he would vote against a clean bill. Rice was hardly alone in that sentiment, although other legislators in attendance, such as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), were not quite as concrete in what actions they would support. While Cruz said that he was pressing his colleagues to use the “power of the purse” to fight back against President Obama’s “unconstitutional amnesty,” he stopped short of saying whether or not he would let the department’s funding lapse.

On Sunday, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson told CNN that 30,000 workers, primarily administrative employees, would be furloughed if funding for the department is not approved by Congress by February 27. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) would be particularly hard hit, with approximately 80% of its staff subject to the cuts. This presents an ideological quandary for Republicans, who traditionally emphasize defense spending in their party platform.

A lapse in funding would not impact the critical operations of DHS, though. Workers with Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, and the TSA would still report to work, they just wouldn’t be receiving paychecks. So while the security threat may be low, the threat of backlash to the GOP from angry public employees is very high. Watch the video below to see Rep. Rice’s answer…

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One thought on “GOP Rep Will Vote to Let Homeland Security Funding Lapse

  1. Over time, people like this will come to realize that the tactics used as a minority group can backfire once in the majority. It’s going to be a hard sell blaming the Dems for brinksmanship fallout now that they have both Houses of Congress.

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