Kevin Landrigan: Shaheen presses for 'clean' homeland security spending bill
By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
CONCORD [-] Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, said the need for a federal spending bill earmarking spending for homeland security projects is reaching a crisis stage on Capitol Hill.
During a conference call with reporters today, Shaheen said partisan politics need to end and the Congress should approve a budget for the Department of Homeland Security without any additional issues attached to it.
"We should put ideological differences aside and we should get this funding done and then we can debate the concerns that we've heard from some people on ideological issues, but now is the time to fund the Department of Homeland Security,'' Shaheen said.
The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire President Dave Lang and Laconia Fire Chief Kenneth Erickson joined Shaheen on the call.
"If we don't fund this agency it could be disastrous for local first responders who are really on the front lines of dealing with threats to this nation's safety,'' Shaheen said.
``The Department of Homeland Security plays a critical role in supporting first responders across New Hampshire."
Shaheen is the ranking Democrat on the Senate spending committee that has control over the Homeland Security Department.
The move is timely as the Senate voted early this week for a homeland spending bill but it contained riders that gutted President Obama's executive orders on immigration.
Shaheen voted against the rider-laden bill while New Hampshire's other senator, Republican Kelly Ayotte, voted for it.
The head of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee accused Shaheen of flip-flopping on the issue.
Last year during her re-election campaign, Shaheen supported Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's bid to prevent the White House from acting unilaterally on immigration reform.
``Jeanne Shaheen continues to play politics with Department of Homeland Security funding by voting to block legislation that will fund the agency and unravel President Obama's unconstitutional executive actions on immigration that she once opposed,'' Jennifer Horn said.
``uring her 2014 reelection campaign, Senator Shaheen claimed to oppose the president's executive actions and even voted with Senator Ted Cruz to block them. Granite Staters are smart enough to see through Jeanne Shaheen's dishonest flip-flop and realize that she is a hypocritical Washington politician who blindly takes orders from the Obama Administration."
Last week, Shaheen teamed with Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski to co-author a clean, homeland security spending bill.
Shaheen toured the state's homeland security operations center a week ago.