(Washington, DC — February 24, 2015) – Congress was working overtime today to get itself out of yet another self-made – and avoidable – mess.
While most rational average, ordinary, everyday Americans might think the consequences of Congressional inaction would be catastrophic, members of Congress seemed to be relishing the chance to yet again bring governance of the people, by the people, and for the people to the brink of collapse.
At the heart of this latest controversy is President Obama’s (D-IL/Kenya) unilateral action on immigration reform. Using an Executive Order to bypass an impotent Congress, the legislative body miraculously sprang to life, vowing to undo Obama’s Executive Order so things could go back to the status quo – in short, taking absolutely no action.
To get their way, Congressional opponents have threatened to defund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) because the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is part of DHS. The agency was created in 2002 following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Neither Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) nor House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) seems to be able to stop this train wreck. DHS runs out of funds on February 27.
“Senator McConnell swore there would be no more Federal government shutdowns,” said a McConnell spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And he’s still committed to that. He’ll reach across the aisle and work with the other side to get a deal hammered out.”
Defunding DHS would affect the following Federal government entities; their original hierarchy in the Federal government appears in (parentheses):
- Domestic Emergency Support Teams (DOJ)
- Energy Security and Assurance Program (DOE)
- Environmental Measurements Laboratory (DOE)
- Federal Computer Incident Response Center (GSA)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (Treasury)
- Federal Protective Service (FPS)
- Immigration and Naturalization Service (DOJ)
- National BW Defense Analysis Center (DOD)
- National Communications System (DOD)
- National Domestic Preparedness Office (FBI)
- National Infrastructure Protection Center (FBI)
- Nuclear Incident Response Team (DOE)
- Office for Domestic Preparedness (DOJ)
- Plum Island Animal Disease Center (DOA)
- Strategic National Stockpile and the National Disaster Medical System (HHS)
- Transportation Security Administration (DOT)
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- US Coast Guard
- US Customs Service (Treasury)
- US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- US Secret Service
“People who hate President Obama are about to defund the agency that keeps them safe,” said a political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “This is a level of stupidity that’s never been seen before.
Some members of Congress seem to believe that a DHS shutdown wouldn’t be such a big deal.
“Of the over 200,000 DHS employees, only about 15% are non-essential staff,” said a pro-DHS shutdown member of Congress, speaking on condition of anonymity. “So we’d only be furloughing about 30,000 people. And the 85% would have to work with no pay. Sounds like a win to me!”
“Congress seems to have forgotten just how unpopular Federal government shutdowns are,” said a historian, speaking on condition of anonymity. “In October 2013, the 16-day shutdown lowered Congress’ approval rating to single digits. I guess that’s a badge of honor for some of those lunatics.”