February 26, 2015





(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) called on House Republican leadership to allow more than 26,000 Californians, including thousands of Coast Guard personnel, to continue to protect our nation from outside threats by fully funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before a shutdown that would begin Friday.

“We must make sure that the men and women who protect our nation’s borders, waterways and airports are able to continue to work,” said Cárdenas. “When we face a threat from international terrorism, these Americans represent the last line of defense for our nation. Those in the Coast Guard are constantly putting their lives in danger to protect and serve our country. We must fully fund the Department of Homeland Security and pay these hard-working public servants.”

Without a funding bill passing both the House and Senate by midnight Friday, DHS would face a shutdown, forcing more than 26,000 law enforcement officials, disaster responders and many other DHS personnel in California to stay home or work without pay. Nationwide, more than 212,000 employees would be furloughed or would be forced to work without pay.

The current funding bill before the U.S. Senate has no chance of passing, due to reactionary anti-immigrant language inserted by House Republicans.

“It’s time for Republicans to stop trying to hurt the President politically when what they’re really doing is hurting our country economically,” said Cárdenas. “Republicans should stop playing political games and trying to score points for future elections at the expense of our recovering economy and the security of this nation. It’s time to be responsible, pass a funding bill and make sure our nation is protected.”

Consequences of a potential shutdown include:

  • closing the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office
  • withholding Securing the Cities grants that pay for nuclear detection capabilities
  • halting Research and Development on countermeasures to biological threats, on nuclear detection equipment and on cargo and passenger screening technologies
  • crippling FEMA’s preparations for future disasters
  • ending FEMA training for law enforcement for Weapons of Mass Destruction events