Larsen to GOP: Let DHS Do Its Job

Feb 27, 2015 Issues:

WASHINGTON—As Republicans threaten to shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) starting Saturday, Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, called on the GOP to stop their political games that jeopardize the ability of the federal government to do its job of serving the American people. A shutdown would mean more than 212,000 DHS employees nationwide, including 6,100 in Washington state, would either be furloughed or would continue working without pay.

“My staff has talked with DHS employees in Northwest Washington who are understandably worried about when their next paycheck might come, which for some could mean missing a rent payment. They also are worried that sinking morale could negatively affect the ability of the department to fulfill its mission. They want to be able to do their jobs without being political pawns.

 “Republicans have developed a dangerous habit of protesting policies they don’t like by shutting down government agencies. Our country’s national security should be an issue that everyone can agree is critical. But apparently making a political point is more important to Republicans than ensuring the DHS employees in my state and nationwide get paychecks for the work they do to keep us safe.

“If Republicans don’t like President Obama’s immigration policies, they should channel their rage into voting on a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill instead of jeopardizing workers’ paychecks and our national security,” Larsen said.

DHS funding runs out Saturday. Republicans are withholding DHS funding by demanding no money be spent to refocus U.S. immigration policies to help keep families together and better direct law enforcement resources to upholding public safety and national security, actions President Obama took last fall.

Larsen and every other House Democrat have cosponsored a clean bill to fund DHS, but House leadership has not allowed a vote on the bill.

Larsen supported the President’s executive action on immigration while calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform as the real solution.