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February 26, 2015

24 Hours: Rep. Pete Aguilar Issues Statement as the Deadline to Prevent a Department of Homeland Security Shutdown Approaches

Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31) issued the following statement as Congress approaches twenty-four hours until the February 27th deadline to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

“We never should have gotten to this point—to be twenty-four hours away from a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security was completely avoidable and is absolutely unacceptable. Speaker Boehner and the House majority need to stop gambling with American lives and jobs, and pass a clean bill immediately. Senate Republicans have initiated the process to pass a clean funding bill, leaving it to the House to decide if it will follow suit. I’ve said it countless times, but I will say it again: We have emerging threats across the world that are uncovered every day—we cannot afford to deplete the department that is responsible for combatting these aggressions. I urge Speaker Boehner to allow a clean funding bill on the floor for a vote immediately.”

If Congress fails to pass legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security before tomorrow night’s deadline, the department will face a partial shutdown. San Bernardino County received crucial grants from DHS last year. According to the California Office of Emergency Services, DHS allocated over $430,000 in Emergency Management Performance Grants, more than $1.5 million in State Homeland Security Program grants, and over $800,000 through the Urban Areas Security Initiative. A shutdown of the agency poses a threat to the allocation of these critical funds for San Bernardino County in the coming year.

This afternoon, Rep. Pete Aguilar led his colleagues on the House Floor by making a Unanimous Consent request in an attempt to force Speaker Boehner to immediately take up H.R. 861, legislation Reps. Roybal-Allard and Lowey introduced nearly two weeks ago. This would fully fund DHS through the 2015 fiscal year, and is free of dangerous anti-immigration riders. This is the second time Rep. Aguilar has spoken on the House floor regarding DHS funding. His remarks can be found here. He joined Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) to co-author a letter to Speaker Boehner last week asking him to take up a clean funding bill immediately. The letter can be read here.