WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama is prepared to discuss with US Congress ways to improve the American immigration system as long as it helps to ensure funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
“The President [Obama] is ready to have a debate and a discussion, and even a negotiation about reforms that we can put in place to bring greater accountability to our broken immigration system,” Earnest said on Monday. “We will continue to be engaged in this process and will be working with Congressional leaders in both parties as they figure out how to avoid a government shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security.”
“It is our view that the best policy outcome is the policy outcome that fully funds the Department of Homeland security for a full year,” Earnest said.
The US House of Representatives introduced a $39.7 billion appropriations bill for the DHS in January. However, it included a Republican-sponsored amendment to withhold funding for any of the president’s executive actions on immigration, which grant millions of undocumented immigrants a permission to legally stay and work in the United States.
Obama stated that he would veto any bill that does not fully fund the department, turning the issue into a brewing political battle between his administration and the Republican controlled Congress.