During a call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, pointed out that one of the troubling impacts of the House Republicans not funding the Department of Homeland Security is that until it is fully funded, the Secret Service will not be able to move forward with the additional security measures recommended for the White House and President Obama.
Other problems a CR imposes are going to be harder for the public to see and feel right away, but law enforcement is already feeling the impact of the House Republicans’ actions. Kerlikowske said that he “can’t stress enough the importance of having a stable budget in place” for money in place to equip and train. He stressed that prioritization is “critical to any law enforcement agency.”
On Wednesday, the House Republicans voted (236-191) to fund the DHS but they attached amendments that defund Obama’s executive actions on immigration, going back to many of his previous actions. One of those actions was the rather obvious move that prioritized those who should be deported, distinguishing criminals from children brought to the US. Republicans would prefer that we go back to the chaotic and broken immigration we had before President Obama took action.
Cecilia Muñoz, White House Domestic Policy Director, observed that none of what the Republicans are doing makes any sense from a policy perspective, “If you look at what they passed today, they prevent ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) setting priorities all together — nothing that makes any sense from a policy perspective.”
Asked if the President would be negotiating with Republicans as they hold the Department of Homeland Security hostage (my words), Muñoz replied, “There is no reason to tinker with the executive actions at all, they need to fund the DHS.” She reiterated repeatedly when pressed that the Republicans need to do the right thing by doing their job and fully funding government. Funding the government has nothing to do with Obama’s executive actions.
In other words, the President won’t be playing games with the hostage takers.
Meanwhile, if another incident occurs at the White House or the President’s security is compromised, the blame can be squarely laid at House Republicans’ feet. It’s a sad fact that they feel comfortable doing this while attacking the President for not attending the Paris rally because the Secret Service couldn’t get adequate security lined up in time. The entire time Republicans were attacking Obama over this, they knew that they had caused the cessation of the implementation of the added security recommended to properly protect the President of the United States.
Again, until the DHS is fully funded, the Secret Service will not be able to move forward with the additional security measures recommended for the White House and President Obama. Those recommendations were based on the outrageous security breaches that put the President and his family in danger.
Republicans are not only refusing to take responsibility for their reckless petulance, but trolling the President for not putting himself in danger when they are directly responsible for the Secret Service not being able to implement recommendations for the President’s safety.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.