Tester: Stop playing politics with law enforcement

(U.S. Senate) -Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after voting against a U.S. House bill that would shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

“Threatening our nation’s ability to fight terrorism as new threats emerge is intolerable. It’s dangerous to play politics with our law enforcement agencies just because the House refuses to have a meaningful debate about immigration reform.”

At the end of last year, Congress passed legislation to keep all federal agencies open and funded. The Department of Homeland Security’s funding is set to expire at the end of February. This bill would defund many essential functions of DHS including the Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection.

The bill failed to reach the Senate’s 60-vote threshold in order to move forward.

The Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and his bipartisan predecessors Secretaries Janet Napolitano (D), Michael Chertoff (R) and Tom Ridge (R) are all on record saying Congress should pass a clean DHS budget.

Senator Tester previously signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requesting a clean bill that funds Homeland Security for the remainder of the fiscal year. Last Congress, Senator Tester voted for a bipartisan bill that reformed our nation’s immigration system.