Homeland Security Head Calls On Congress To Fund Department

By Jude Joffe-Block
January 29, 2015

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson visited Phoenix on Wednesday and spoke about the state of the Southwest border.

Johnson called on Congress to fund his department, since it hasn't yet passed a 2015 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS is currently funded through a continuing resolution that will expire at the end of next month.

The issue has been stalled since the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a DHS funding bill, but added language to end some of  the president's executive actions on immigration.

In a speech at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Johnson said without appropriations for the year, he can only do the bare minimum.

"We cannot engage in what are called new starts, new initiatives, new spending on the things we need to do to advance our border security mission," Johnson said to a room full of students and reporters. "So I am hoping Congress will help us out before the end of next month."

Johnson said he’s already had to take unsustainable steps to pay for programs, such as borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars from the disaster relief fund.