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U.S. Customs Cargo Clearance Could Slow if Congress Cuts DHS Funding

(Reynolds Hutchins – Journal of Commerce)

A partisan debate on Capitol Hill is threatening to throw even more delays into already slowed U.S. supply chains. What began as a debate over immigration reform has evolved into a stalemate that has put at risk customs operations at airports, seaports and land borders nationwide.

Congress is running out of time before the agencies that staff U.S. customs and homeland security offices will run out of funding, according to House Speaker John Boehner. Lawmakers have 10 days before funding for the Department of Homeland Security, including the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency it oversees, runs out, the Ohio Republican said earlier this week.

Even during a shutdown employees working at the nation’s borders and airports – among other places – would continue working without pay. About 200,000 of the department’s 230,000 employees fall into an exempt category of workers who are considered necessary to protect human life and property. Click here to read more.