Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Orange County residents likely won’t notice any impact on services locally if Congress fails to keep funding the Department of Homeland Security, at least two officials say.

At John Wayne Airport, travelers should not be affected, airport spokeswoman Jenny Wedge said.

“We are not expecting any impacts to our operations as security screening is considered essential and (the Transportation Security Administration) will maintain staffing there,” Wedge said.

Law enforcement will not be affected at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department,  Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

“There could be a potential slowing down of grant funding, but it won’t affect any of our operations,” Hallock said.

The grants will flow in when the budget issue is resolved, Hallock said.

“No one’s going to see any negative operational impact on the Sheriff’s Department,” Hallock said.

Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Irvine, voted to support the short-term CR, or continuing resolution, which would have extended funding for the department for another few weeks, a staffer said.

The congresswoman “believes that funding the Department of Homeland Security is absolutely vital to ensuring a safe and secure nation,” spokeswoman Christine Hardman said.

That bill, however, was defeated.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, called on the House to support the Senate’s bill, which was approved earlier today and would extend funding until Sept. 30.

“Instead of continuing to play games with our homeland security, House Republicans should join with their Senate colleagues and pass a bill that would fully fund the department and remove uncertainty from the agency that detects, deters and responds to threats against our country,” Sanchez said.

The stalemate over the agency’s funding stems from attempts to thwart President Barack Obama’s executive order granting protection from deportation to some undocumented parents of children who were brought into the country illegally.

The aim of the program is to avoid breaking up families, but has drawn the ire of some Republicans who call it a form of amnesty for immigrants who came here illegally.

Some Republicans favor using the Homeland Security funding as a way to stop Obama from carrying out the program, which would be under the purview of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is part of Homeland Security.

City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.