White House To Put DHS At Center Of Budget Fight

Conn Carroll
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Posted: Jan 30, 2015 2:45 PM
White House To Put DHS At Center Of Budget Fight

President Obama will officially unveil his 2016 budget at the Department of Homeland Security Monday, making the funding of the agency the centerpiece of his administrations immediate fiscal priorities.

"That will be an opportunity for the president to make the case once again that it is important for Republicans to not allow funding for the Department of Homeland Security to lapse at the end of February," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.

Unlike the rest of the federal government which has been fully funded through the end of September, funding for DHS is set to expire at the end of February. Republicans chose a shorter funding term for the departments as part of an effort to push back against Obama's November executive action on immigration which could grant up to 4 million illegal immigrants temporary amnesty over the next two years.

A Congressional Budget Office letter released Thursday estimated that 1.5 million illegal immigrants will take advantage of Obama's amnesty program through 2017. That same document also estimated that illegal immigrants granted amnesty by Obama will pay just $5.2 billion in income taxes through 2025, while consuming more than $10.2 billion in tax credits. Factoring in other spending programs, CBO estimates that Obama's amnesty programs will cost taxpayers $8.8 billion on net through 2025.

The letter also notes that amnestied immigrants will pay $17 billion in Social Security payroll taxes through 2025, but they will receive far more in Social Security payments when they retire then what they paid into the system. The White House previously acknowledged in December that illegal immigrants amnestied by Obama would be eligible for Social Security benefits

Earnest did not say if Obama's budget would identify how the administration planned to pay for the increased spending caused by his amnesty programs.