First let me say that the idea that Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is now the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee is inconceivable.
Johnson said today that shutting down the Department of Homeland Security is not a threat to homeland security, and while that is amusing there’s something else that caught my attention.
“Even in the last government shut down only 13.6% of DHS employees were furloughed,” Johnson said. “So the national security aspects, the aspects of the department that keeps America safe, are continuing to function no matter what happens in this very dysfunctional place.” […]
Johnson also said he wants to hold hearings on the president’s executive order prior to a vote on the bill in order to determine whether DHS “can even administer” Obama’s executive order.
There’s no need to hold a hearing(s) to answer this question because it has already been answered.
The agency responsible for administering the president’s executive orders is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency. USCIS is a component of the Department of Homeland Security, but it is funded by user fees and not by Congress. Even if the Department of Homeland Security shuts down due to a lack of funding from Congress, USCIS will still be able to “administer” the president’s orders.
Ron Johnson may be correct that the Senate is “dysfunctional,” but as the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Johnson certainly has the power to end the dysfunction and pass a clean bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security.
If there is dysfunction in the chamber, Johnson and his colleagues have fostered it.
And not to let it go unsaid, it appears that Johnson doesn’t care if nearly 14 percent or more of DHS employees are furloughed. Their suffering is just a means to an end. But what end? I doubt even the esteemed chairman could tell you.