(NBC News) – This morning it’s unclear if there will be money for Homeland Security at the end of this week.
Congress has a Friday deadline to approve it – but that money’s mired in a fight over immigration.
Lawmakers meet around lunchtime here today. This afternoon we may get some sense if they’ve found a way to break this gridlock.
Today’s policy lunches could be key in finding a middle ground on funding Homeland Security. “We can’t afford to play politics with our national security,” said President Barack Obama
The issue is immigration. Republicans insist on getting rid of the President’s orders to delay deporting up to five million undocumented immigrants.
Senate Republican leaders tried to separate the money from immigration. “It’s another way to get the Senate unstuck from a Democratic filibuster and move the debate forward,” said Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
It didn’t work
Governors visiting Washington urged lawmakers to act. “Governors are frustrated. Quit throwing us your problems,” said Governor Nikki Haley, (R) South Carolina.
If there’s no deal by Friday, tens of thousands of TSA workers border patrol agents and others could be forced to work without pay. “That is not good for the homeland security of this nation. It is not good for public safety and it is not in the public’s best interest,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
This fight comes as the mall of America reassures shoppers it’s safe – despite a video threat from the militant group al Shabaab. “They want to up security. And if we’re not giving them the funding to do that then that’s a major problem,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, (D) Minnesota.
Even if the Senate works out a compromise, it’s not clear if the more conservative house will go along.