Homeland chief calls on Congress to OK funding

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson | Courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson gave an address on Tuesday in which he stressed the importance of funding for his department and what the consequences would be if funding were not renewed by this Friday's deadline.

The department currently is funded by a continuing resolution that expires Friday, and funding legislation has been held up in Congress for weeks.

Consequences from a shutdown in funding include up to 80 percent of staff working without pay, with  approximately 30,000 people in the department furloughed. Johnson said this would put a fraction of the normal work force up against threats to aviation and from terrorist groups such as ISIL.

Johnson also said 80 percent of Federal Emergency Management Agency staff would also be furloughed. 

"To those in Congress who may be contemplating punting or kicking the can a few weeks down the road, I must remind you that the consequences to this department, if we remain on a continuing resolution, are also severe," Johnson said. "We are restricted to last year's funding levels if we are on a continuing resolution and must operate in a state of uncertainty about when the next infusion of funds will be."

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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