Homeland Security Chief's Message for Congress on Funding: ‘I Can’t Print Money’

Jeh Johnson wants Congress to pass a complete appropriations bill to fund DHS.

The Department of Homeland Security is operating on a continuing resolution which runs out at the end of February. Johnson says he wants lawmakers to pass a complete appropriations bill to fully fund his department.

“I can’t print money and I can’t appropriate money,” he told the US Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. “If I don’t have a bill I cannot pay for all the things I’ve put in place for border security.”

Johnson also said other Homeland Security programs including fighting homegrown, lone-wolf terrorists and reforming the Secret Service could be at risk.

“As long as I’m operating on a CR I cannot fund new initiatives. I cannot fund new grants,” he told the elected officials.

Johnson told the mayors that when it comes to deportation, the Obama administration wants to concentrate on illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes.

“We want to remove criminals as a matter of public safety,” he said.

He noted there are an estimated 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. “We can’t deport all those people,” he said.