Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee want to learn more about how the government shutdown is impacting Homeland Security.
From the TSA to the Coast Guard, to Board Patrol and the Secret Service, former agency officials say the government shutdown is wreaking havoc at the Department of Homeland Security.
Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke during a hearing Thursday, conducted by Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, who is the chair of the committee that oversees the department.
“We are in the midst of a national security crisis and it’s one of our own making, frankly,” Johnson said.
The hearing comes one day before hundreds of thousands of federal workers are set to miss their second paycheck in a row.
“Quite simply the shutdown of DHS has undermined the department’s ability to secure the homeland protect the American people and pay frontline officers,” said Congressman Thompson. “Come tomorrow they may not be able to pay next months bills such as rent or utilities.”
An end to the shutdown remains out of reach, two competing bills to fund the government were both voted down Thursday largely along partisan lines.
Most Republicans insist any plan to re-open the government must include funding for an extension of the southern border wall.
“I don’t believe anyone in America believes you can have border security without some sort of a barrier,” said California Representative Kevin McCarthy.
Most Democrats say they’re convinced adding to the current wall is unnecessary.
“We want to continue the investing in border security as to whether or not the wall is the best method that’s still up for debate,” said Representative Bennie Thompson.
Federal workers and jobs they perform are caught in the middle, leading to increasingly desperate calls for a solution.