Unless Congress acts, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is due to run out of funding in about nine days (February 28).
If DHS isn’t funded, it won’t be the end of the world. There will still be people at the airport to screen passengers and at the border to welcome folks to the good ol’ USA. These people may not be smiling much, because according to several reports those folks are “essential personnel” and they get to stay on the job, but would not receive paychecks.
According to the Washington Post’s editorial board, here is the root of the problem:
The (DHS funding) bill passed by House Republicans would defund Mr. Obama’s executive order to shield several million illegal immigrants from deportation. In the kabuki theater of Congress, the bill has followed a predictable course. It has been taken up three times in the Senate, where it lacks the 60 votes needed to clear procedural hurdles, and three times it has been filibustered by Democrats, just as Mr. Boehner and every other member of Congress knew it would be.
Late Monday another issue came up thanks to a Federal judge:
President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration have been halted temporarily, thanks to a preliminary injunction issued late Monday by a federal district court judge in Texas.
The injunction does not seem to bother the Democrats, probably because they know it won’t last too long.
So, the U.S. House passed a bill, but the U.S. Senate can’t muster the 60 votes needed to pass it because the Democrats won’t go along with the House version to defund the President’s immigration policies. With all that in mind, who will get the blame if DHS shuts down?