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Immigration Reform Legislation (2013)

Local officials eye Homeland Security funding debate warily

A political brawl over funding the Department of Homeland Security is troubling local officials in Maryland who rely on millions of dollars in agency grants for firefighter gear, emergency planning and training.

The dispute, which could force hundreds of customs agents at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and the port of Baltimore to work without pay, threatens to disrupt several grant programs popular with local fire departments.

"In rural America there are some very small departments that can barely afford to keep the lights on and the fuel in the tank," said David Lewis, a member of the Odenton Volunteer Fire Company and a past...