Rep. Norcross Calls on Congress to Fund Department of Homeland Security, Avert Reckless Shutdown
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Donald Norcross took the House floor to urge Speaker Boehner and House Republicans to pass a clean, long-term measure that will avoid a Department of Homeland Security shutdown and keep America safe. If Congress fails to act by midnight on Friday, the Department will be forced to furlough or deny pay to as many as 212,000 law enforcement officials, disaster response officials, and other DHS personnel throughout the country – including more than 5,600 DHS workers in New Jersey alone.
Without action in the next two days, the bulk of DHS’s management and support of the homeland security infrastructure that was built following the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be shuttered. Law enforcement officials, border patrol agents, counterterrorism experts, disaster response officials, and other DHS personnel that help keep our nation safe will either be furloughed or required to work without pay.
“I spent the last two hours in the Armed Services Committee where General Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, was talking about sending the right message to our enemies – that America has to stand together as one,” said Congressman Norcross on the House floor. “As we talk about these threats, we are 48 hours from shutting down homeland security. We are 48 hours from shutting down security at our airports, train stations, and ports. This is unthinkable, and unless we act in 48 hours we are sending a message to our enemies that it is open season in America. We cannot send that message."
Other critical consequences of a Department of Homeland Security shutdown include: closing the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, which would no longer alert and coordinate with local law enforcement agencies, and withholding the Securing the Cities grants that pay for critical nuclear detection capabilities in cities across the country; halting Research and Development work on countermeasures to devastating biological threats, on nuclear detection equipment, and on cargo and passenger screening technologies; crippling FEMA’s preparations for future disasters, furloughing 22 percent of FEMA personnel; and ending FEMA training activities with local law enforcement for Weapons of Mass Destruction events.