The Continuing Resolution funding the Department of Homeland Security will expire this Friday, February 27.
This week is likely to see considerable last-minute and bipartisan efforts to avoid a DHS shut-down. But some perceive a shut-down will advance their political interests, either to reverse the President’s executive action on immigration or to highlight Republican intolerance and incapacity to govern.
The Senate is scheduled to vote Monday on a House-passed Homeland Security bill that includes the immigration amendments, marking the fourth attempt by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to defeat a Democratic filibuster. The effort is expected to fail, leaving Republican leaders in both chambers with the sticky question of how to proceed.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has repeatedly said that the House has done its job and the ball is in the Senate’s court. But an impasse in the upper chamber could force his hand. That sets the stage for a high-stakes meeting of the House Republican conference on Wednesday morning, where GOP leaders are sure to hear an earful from all sides less than 72 hours before Homeland Security funding expires.
Jeh Johnson will appear today on all five of the Sunday talk shows (Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, State of the Union, and Fox News Sunday), so you should not have a tough time catching the administration’s talking points.
The annual process for DHS grant funding has already been seriously delayed. Many state and local programs have been continued by internal borrowing. But if this week’s deadline is missed — as now seems likely — several law enforcement, firefighting, emergency management and other groups will probably send grant-dependent homeland security programs into a hungry hibernation.
My personal schedule this week will not allow much tracking of the give-and-take. If you see insightful comments or coverage, please link to the comments here. If possible I will try to monitor and push some of what you’re hearing to the main page.