Republicans On Defense Over Defunding Homeland Security After Paris Terrorist Attack

defund homeland security

Just hours after Republicans filed their first action to defund parts of homeland security in order to stop President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform, a terrorist attack in Paris has them running away from themselves again.

In the wake of the Paris magazine attacks that have reportedly killed 12 people including journalists and police, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is backing away from Republican threats to defund Homeland Security as their way to defeat President Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform.

John Harwood, who covers Washington and national politics for CNBC and the New York Times, tweeted:

Republicans only passed short term funding for the Department of Homeland Security in December, hoping to defund the agency in order to stop Obama from acting on his executive privilege with actions on immigration.

At the close of last year, Senator Graham tried to have it both ways blaming Senate Democrats for his refusal to defund the DHS, “Anybody who believes that we are going to successfully attack the executive order of the president by cutting off funding with a Democratic-controlled Senate is not attached to reality politically,” Graham said. “The best way to attack these executive orders is next year when we have majorities in both the House and Senate.”

But Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) opened the new congress with a bang, introducing a bill on Tuesday called the “Prevention of Executive Amnesty Act of 2015”, which allegedly avoids defunding Homeland Security by applying a “none of the funds” clause to the upcoming appropriation for the Department. The bill is supposedly intended to stop any spending on the President’s executive actions on immigration, while funding the rest of Homeland Security.

The problem with this is that Congress does not fund the agency that will carry out President’s executive actions, which are funded by fees.

None other than the House Appropriations Committee informed Republicans of this fact last November, according to The Hill:

“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications,” the committee said in a statement. “Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘defund’ the agency.”

What part of “We cannot, literally cannot, defund that agency in an appropriations bill because we don’t appropriate that agency. That agency is entirely fee-funded” did Republicans not understand? It’s looking like House Republicans are starting the new Congress off with their specialty: useless showboating.

The only leverage Republicans have is shutting down the government, and that is why they left the DHS unfunded past February 27, 2015. But in light of the $1.4 billion bill Republicans stuck the American taxpayers with last time they shut down the government in yet another useless poutfest, Republicans keep adamantly denying that they are going to shut down the government.

What this bill and Senator Graham’s quick dodge away from the Republican position really indicate is that Republicans are nervous about being blamed for the results of their defunding actions and anxious to set a very different tone with the new Congress. So this isn’t good press. Explaining that they weren’t going to defund Homeland Security, really, even though they have been talking about defunding Homeland Security and deliberately failed to fund it past February so they could hold it hostage is not good press.

It’s yet another one of those awkward moments when Republicans were on the verge of a defunding pouftest with nary a care to the consequences. After years of Republicans loudly declaring that any disaster that arouse had nothing to do with the massively careless and reckless defunding of government that they’ve enacted in a rather desperate effort to derail President Obama, the fact that at the close of the last Congress they carefully funded areas surrounding controversies they are currently blaming Obama for said a lot.

Republicans were hoping to use a for show only defunding of executive actions show bill to further their narrative that Obama is the problem, but instead they got egg on their faces and a harsh reminder that playing politics while the real world continues on can be costly.

31 Replies to “Republicans On Defense Over Defunding Homeland Security After Paris Terrorist Attack”

  1. Damn. I think defunding ‘Homeland Security’ would go a long way towards restraining our current police state.

    Today’s terrorism is strictly religiously motivated. If we refused to get involved in Abrahamic religions’ family feud, we wouldn’t need the tyrannical PATRIOT Act.

  2. Today’s terrorism is strictly religiously motivated.
    So what would you call the Terrorism that happen last night in Colorado when they bomb and tried to firebomb a building operated by the NAACP? Oh wait you didn’t hear about it so it didn’t happen. Hello!!!

  3. Barasso mu7st be an idiot, on the Andrea Mitchell show just now she asked him about the terrorist attack in Paris, he went on a tirade about Obama giving money to immigrants for work visas from Homeland Security funds.

  4. By the end of the day, you won’t be able to find a Republican on the planet who will admit that they were FOR this idiotic defunding plan. This is so typically Republican. It’s almost as if they can’t foresee any consequences past the end of their conservative brown noses. (Brown from being up the a$$es of the religious right.)

  5. Gop wants something to happen here so they can say “see – Obamas fault” for not letting us have our way. Perfect example of the koch congress holding the country hostage in order to pass their own new set of laws to benefit themselves.
    Defunding HS is a conspiracy.

  6. One reason why they want to defund Homeland security is because they don’t want any scrutiny on domestic terrorist groups that they pander to. And it would seem like everyone else don’t want to talk about it

  7. They cant foresee anything, just look at the little they actual propose, its all about hating disabled, vets, women,blacks, healthcare for all, peace. Look at the complete incompetents they put up for pres. and vp. All jokes in 08 & 12 & 16.

    Koch addicted.

  8. Gop wants something to happen here so they can say
    But terrorism has happen here but since its misunderstood white males it doesn’t get reported or talked about

  9. This is typical teahadist showboating. “The problem with this is that Congress does not fund the agency that will carry out President’s executive actions, which are funded by fees.”

    The reich wing knows that Faux will run with the story and that 98% of their viewers will take it as gospel without making an effort to learn the facts.

  10. Damn near anything can come under the purvue of Homeland Security – even environmental regulations if someone decides those regulations “threaten national security”. This is one very good reason why the kochs want shackles on this department. Any authority over environmental restrictions is a threat to their continued rape of the environment.

  11. Facts? What do facts have to do with anything
    New black panthers open a door for white women = terrorism
    Bombing of the NAACP office = Crickets

  12. Of course it was religious motivated. Who else is going to blow up a NAACP office but the “christian” RWNJs in their little white “hoodies?”

  13. I tend to think its more political. Hours before the terror, the NAACP filed a motion in Missouri about the Mike Brown case which has a lot of merit. Now I cant say definitely that’s the case but I really don’t believe in coincidence

  14. The Democrats should keep them on defense. And they should keep the pressure on. They have learned nothing from Benghazi.

  15. Republicans are dangerous. See Benghazi and now Paris.

    I suppose their dangerous behaviors suit their purposes anyway, to push this and other countries over the brink of disaster and, then, to hold a big “fire sale” to and for their foreign financial partners.

  16. The problem with this is that Congress does not fund the agency that will carry out President’s executive actions, which are funded by fees.
    Obama, 1000, GOP-0

  17. Republicans are dangerous. See Benghazi and now Paris.
    What about Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Gilbert, Arizona, Spokane, Washington, Hardy, Arkansas, Wichita Kansas, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, Atlanta Georgia and now Colorado Springs Colorado.

  18. Every since this president was elected the right has predicted everything that was going to happen with him and they have failed. They plotted to make him a one term president by any means necessary and none of those means worked at all. They refused to work with the president on the important things for this country and the amercian people. Yet they can’t understand how they start to get better under his watch. So now that they have both house, they want to turn the tables around but the thing is , they still don’t know how to do it. The teaparty members will give the president everything he wants because they have grown up yet. They coming in thinking they are going to be the ones to take the president down.

  19. Euro-Jesus is a white male. If you are a white male, you are a reflection of Jesus.

    If you are not a white male, you aren’t human. Duh.

  20. So now if this country was under attack who would be at fault. Republicans for ” Defunding Homeland Security

  21. I’ve never understood how conservatives can continually bash our government as inept and spend-happy, but then turn right around and happily place that same “inept” government in charge of our most important job of all: national security. If our government is so incompetent, why are they okay with putting it in charge of something so important?

    Not only that, they are also happy to give the “spending” government all the money in the world to do that job. #makesnosense #contradiction #Catch22

  22. I don’t think the GOP’s plan is anything but hit Obama over and over again. it’s become a consuming rage that obviously blows up in their faces almost daily. I remember Gingrich trying to paper over the ‘hate everybody who isn’t with us’ nonsense by quoting that “consistency is the hobgoblin of a small mind” or something like that.

    They will say/do anything. Credibility isn’t part of it.

    Good thing I stocked up on popcorn. This year is going to be riotous.

  23. I do love PoliticusUSA but, really, do you have to go the way of traditional journalism and forgo the use of proofreaders? Or did your proofreader get tired before the end of this piece? It’s a mess, really. And digital is sooooo much easier to fix than hard copy newspapers.

  24. Though I get what you’re saying, it does somewhat put the “pick” in “picayune”. Any proofreaders would, like the moderators, have to be volunteers, and those can’t always serve when wanted.

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