Bipartisan Talks Needed on Homeland Security Funding

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The new Congress is re-fighting last year’s battle over immigration and Homeland Security funding for Fiscal 2015, which is now already three and a half months old.

Stopgap funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to expire late next month. Elected officials in both parties should move quickly to resolve their differences, avoid fiscal brinkmanship and start focusing on the 2016 budget.

After days of internal discussions, House Republicans on Friday unveiled a legislative plan that would provide $39.7 billion for homeland security this fiscal year, a $400 million increase over the previous year.

But the plan — which will likely pass the House this week — also aims to prevent money from being spent to implement President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

House Republicans hailed their ability to reach agreement among themselves on their plan. But Senate passage is uncertain, and a White House statement Monday threatened a veto over any “objectionable” restrictions on the President’s immigration policies.

So there’s more work to be done. The sooner serious bipartisan negotiations can get started, the better.

External links:
Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (House Appropriations Committee)
White House Statement of Policy on DHS Funding

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