Five former secretaries of Homeland Security — including former White House chief of staff John Kelly — implored President Donald Trump and congressional lawmakers on Wednesday to strike a deal to restore funding to the department, which has gone without funding since late last year because of the partial government shutdown.
In a letter to the president and Congress obtained by multiple news outlets, former secretaries Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson joined Kelly to call for the reopening of the department that they all once led. The secretaries wrote that DHS is as central to national security as the Department of Defense, which lawmakers typically prioritize funding for during shutdowns.
“Congress does so because putting national security at risk is an option we simply can’t afford,” they wrote of funding for the Defense Department, which is fully funded through the fiscal year’s end. “DHS should be no different.”