After weeks of lobbying for full funding of the Department of Homeland Security — that also leaves intact President Obama’s executive amnesty — DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson is thanking Congress for delivering on his request.
“On behalf of the approximately 225,000 men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, we thank those in Congress – Democrats and Republicans – who voted for this bill and, in particular, those in Congress who showed the leadership necessary to get the job done,” Johnson said in statement.
The House passed a so-called clean DHS funding bill Tuesday afternoon after weeks of wrangling and uncertainty. The bill that finally passed did not contain any of the provisions that the House approved in January, which aimed to block Obama’s executive amnesty.
The GOP cave, as many are calling it, came after Senate Democrats spent the better part of February blocking debate on the House-passed DHS bill that contained the immigration provisions. Senate Republicans relented last week and passed a funding bill without the controversial riders. House Republican leadership followed on Tuesday.
“Now our men and women can return to the vital work of combatting terrorism, ensuring border security, port security, aviation security, cybersecurity, and our other vital homeland security missions, without the uncertainty of a furlough or a delayed paycheck hanging over their heads,” the DHS secretary said Tuesday.
Johnson had been a major player in the drama that saw his department nearly shut down last week. He’d warned Congress that a shutdown or even short-term funding measure would have a crippling effect on the department’s work and national security.
During his shutdown scare, Johnson further argued against what he called “politically charged amendments that attempt to defund our executive actions on immigration reform.”
Now that DHS has received its $39.7 billion in funding, set to last through September 30, Johnson sounded a tone of relief and gratitude.
“Congress has done a good thing. It has fully funded homeland security. It has provided our people a strong bipartisan vote of confidence in the importance of their work,” he said.