Statement: Engel Warns against House Republicans' Plan to Shut Down DHS

Statement: Engel Warns against House Republicans’ Plan to Shut Down DHS

Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16), the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding House Republicans’ threats to shut down the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

“With less than two days before the Department of Homeland Security runs out of funding, we find ourselves nearing a dangerous precipice. The way House Republicans are playing politics with our national security is incredibly dangerous.

“Here is the reality. If DHS funding is allowed to expire:

-          15% of the Department – tens of thousands of DHS staff and personnel – will be immediately furloughed.

-          22% of FEMA personnel will be furloughed, along with 20% of U.S. Customs and Border Protection staff, 12% of the Coast Guard, and nearly 10% of the Secret Service.

-          The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office will be shuttered.

-          All research and development on countermeasures to biological threats, nuclear detection equipment, and flight screening tech will stop.

-           Every border patrol agent, TSA agent, and member of the Coast Guard will go without pay.

-          Local first responders – police and firefighters – from the New York metro area will lose access to tens of millions of dollars in DHS support funds.


“All of that is just the tip of the iceberg.Political disagreements with the President’s immigration policies do not give Speaker Boehner and the Republican Party the right to threaten our national security. Just yesterday, three men, two in Brooklyn, were arrested for providing material support to ISIS. They had conspired to plant a bomb in Coney Island. One said he was prepared to assassinate the President. And tomorrow, House Republicans plan to shut down the Department of Homeland Security.

“Threats to our national security are very real. Holding DHS for ransom is unconscionable, irresponsible, and dangerous.

“There is a clean DHS spending bill that has already been introduced in the House, cosponsored by every single House Democrat. The Senate is preparing to pass a clean DHS bill today. The only thing getting in the way of our voting on this bill is the Republican House leadership. Speaker Boehner needs to end this nonsense immediately and allow us to vote on a clean DHS spending bill.”