Homeland Security site of looming fund fight

Washington (CNN)With less than a month until the Department of Homeland Security runs out of funding, the White House is gearing up for a fight with Republicans.

It's no coincidence that when President Barack Obama rolled out his budget Monday, he did so from the Department of Homeland Security.
The Homeland Security Department's funding is due to expire Feb. 27, a date chosen by Republicans in December, as they worked out a deal to keep the rest of the government up and running through much of 2015. Republicans are using this deadline as leverage to push the President on immigration, in the wake of what they see as overreach by the President for his executive orders last year.
    "Don't jeopardize our security over this disagreement," Obama said at the agency, adding later: "We need to fund the department. We have to put politics aside. Pass a budget that funds our priorities at home and abroad and gives middle class families the security they need to get ahead in the new economy."
    Last week, the White House said Obama would not change his position on immigration to broker a compromise on Department of Homeland Security funding.
    "The funding for the Department of Homeland Security is not a political football, and the Republicans shouldn't treat it as one," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday.
    Obama warned Monday what will happen if Congress does not approve new funding for the agency.
    In his remarks, Obama emphasized that should Republicans fail to fund the Department, personnel would continue to work without getting paid.
    This includes over 40,000 Border Patrol agents and officers, over 50,000 TSA aviation security screeners, over 13,000 Immigration and Customs law enforcement agents and officers, over 4,000 Secret Service law enforcement agents and officers, and over 40,000 active duty Coast Guard members.
    "These Americans aren't just working to keep us safe," Obama said Monday. "They have to take care of their own families. The notion that they would get caught up in a disagreement around policy that has nothing to do with them makes no sense."
    A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner says the House has passed a bill to fund DHS, blaming Senate Democrats for blocking the Department from receiving the funding it needs.
    When the government shut down in 2013, furloughed federal employees worked without pay, however, the House passed a bill to give workers back pay.
    The White House cautions that a failure to fund the department would put homeland security initiatives at risk.
    Homeland Security funding, the White House says, is critical to providing resources for law enforcement locally and abroad, and should not be risked for a political move.
    "Don't jeopardize our national security over this disagreement," Obama said. "If they let your funding run out, it's not the end of the world. That's what they said. Well, I guess literally that's true. It may not be the end of the world but until they pass a funding bill, it's the end of a paycheck for tens of thousands of front line workers who will continue to have to work without getting paid."