Editorial: Congress’s failure to fund DHS disgraceful


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The newest development in a string of power struggles between the Republican-majority ruled Congress and President Obama nearly allowed the Department of Homeland Security to be shut down from lack of funding.

The key player in this fiasco is Speaker of the House John Boehner, who has not only been facing opposition from the president but also infighting from factions in his own party.

In this most recent debacle, Boehner planned to use funding for the Department of Homeland Security as leverage against Obama’s executive action on immigration, but he failed to execute this plan because of conflict in his own party. The crisis has been averted for a week, but the predicament raises pressing concerns.

As troubling as it is that funding that would directly contribute to the continued protection of the American people is being used as a bargaining chip against the elected leader of the country, this would not be the first time political agendas have taken priority over the needs of the nation. The notable difference in this scenario is that the factions doing the fighting in this instance are splintering, blurring the lines between party allegiance and objectives.

Boehner’s plan failed because members of his own party defected, forcing him to rely on the assistance of Democrats to extend Homeland Security’s budget for another week. However, this recuperative measure did not come without the caveat that Boehner try to pass a bill without terms that would counter Obama’s executive orders.

Boehner has found himself between a rock and a boulder in the more zealously conservative faction in his party and the completion of his own political agendas, which appear to becoming more and more reliant on moderate Democratic assistance.

Furthermore, not only has this debacle revealed cracks in the foundation of the Republican leadership but also a willingness on part of our elected officials to cut funding to the agency designed to protect the American people. Time and time again, it becomes apparent that members of the government are more than willing to cut off the nose to spite the face when it’s the face of the general public at stake.

With extremely conservative members of the Republican Party undermining the efforts of the party as a whole, it is clear to see that there are members of this Congress without any vested interest in the continued functioning of the government outside of their own affiliations and agendas.

Our elected officials cannot continue to use the resources and institutions of the American people as tools of leverage in the escalating partisan conflicts that pose the threat of jeopardizing the stability of the nation as a whole. The Daily Iowan Editorial Board believes our government needs to be run with a mentality that places the efficient management of national affairs above issues of leadership and individually biased agendas.

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