Obama: Republican Threat To Not Fund Immigration Executive Order Will Prevent "Controlling Our Borders"

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The president hosted a cabinet meeting at the White House Tuesday.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I talked about this yesterday; I want to reemphasize it today: The Department of Homeland Security contains numerous agencies that every single day are keeping the American people safe. They’re our front lines at our borders, at our airports, along our coasts. And they need certainty in order to do their jobs. The notion that we would risk the effectiveness of the department that is charged with preventing terrorism, controlling our borders, making sure that the American people are safe, makes absolutely no sense. The idea that we would have members of the Coast Guard, or our Border Control, or TSA not being paid, and expect them to still be able to perform as effectively as we need them to perform, makes no sense. And the idea that we would do that because of a separate disagreement between myself and the Republicans about the need for comprehensive immigration reform, certainly is something that is not going to make sense to the American people.

So I’m encouraging Congress to go ahead and get a budget done for the Department of Homeland Security and make sure it’s properly funded. And then I’m looking forward to engaging with all of them so that we can make sure that we’ve got a government that is delivering for the American people, and making sure that we are giving middle-class families and everybody who’s willing to work hard to get into the middle class the chance to get ahead.

And we’re also going to have an opportunity in our Cabinet to talk about some administrative actions that we’re taking to continue to make government more efficient, more effective and more customer-friendly. And we’ve made some real progress on that front in every single agency, from the Veterans Administration to the Small Business Administration. I’m really excited about some of the things that we’re going to be doing -- saving taxpayers money and making sure that our organizations are tight, streamlined and effective.

So I appreciate all the good work that all of you are doing. And I want to thank our press pool very much so we can get to work.

Thank you, guys.

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