It's very likely that no bill will be passed in Congress to continue funding for the Homeland Security Department before February 27. And if that happens, thousands of its employees will be laid off while even more will be forced to work without pay until funding is restored.
How could that happen? Who could be opposed to Homeland Security?
The problem is, House Majority leader John Boehner refuses to consider a bill that simply funds the agency. Instead, he's demanding one that funds Homeland Security and overturns President Obama's latest plan to limit deportations of illegal immigrants. And that, of course, will never get enough support in the Senate to overcome the inevitable Obama veto.
I'm no fan of Obama's ever-more-lenient immigration policies. But why should one immediate, critical issue we can all agree upon be held hostage to a totally different topic that we'll probably still be debating five years from now?
The Republicans certainly aren't the only bad guys here. The party roles have been reversed in the past, and that was equally unacceptable. But at some point, our lawmakers have to stop playing politics and consider important issues on their own merits.
The party that recognizes this first may lose a battle. But they'll also take a large step toward ultimately winning the war for the hearts and minds of the voters.