- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 24, 2019

John F. Kelly, the former White House chief of staff, joined four other Homeland Security secretaries to call for DHS funding.

In a letter directed to the president and Congress, former Secretaries Jeh Johnson, Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano and Mr. Kelly argued that DHS should be no different than other departments necessary for national security, such as the Department of Defense, that are funded in the partial government shutdown.

“We ask that our dedicated professions be willing to selflessly serve our country and to dedicate themselves to the DHS mission to secure the homeland,” they wrote, according to a copy obtained by NBC News. “The great men and women of DHS do this proudly — no different than those men and women who are part of the DOD.”

The five former secretaries said it was “unconscionable” to force DHS employees and families to rely on charity, and stressed it put the department at risk of losing agents, particularly in the high-tech positions.

“We are awed by the sacrifices that the men and women of DHS and their families make every day and their extraordinary service to our nation,” they wrote.

The shutdown, which began over a disagreement over DHS funding for a border wall and border security measures, continues to stretch on, and federal employees are slated to miss another paycheck Friday.

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