US says transfer from FEMA funds won't harm hurricane relief

Donald Trump

"It says that money came from Response and Recovery right on it", Merkley told Maddow.

The administration, however, has a fraught track record when it comes to hurricane relief.

Trump also took a few moments to praise his administration's response to Hurricane Maria as "incredibly successful", despite the fact that a government-commissioned study published last month found that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico because of the devastating storm. DHS also transferred $33 million from other ICE programs to pay for detention and removal, making the total amount of money transferred $202 million.

Meanwhile, immigration advocates are concerned not just about where the money came from, but where it went.

Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, alleged that money earmarked for disaster relief and emergency response efforts had been taken out of FEMA's accounts and shifted to ICE.

Yoder's campaign says that the $10 million transferred from FEMA was not money that could be spent on disaster relief or preparations.

"FEMA will curtail training, travel, public engagement sessions, IT security support and infrastructure maintenance, and IT investments in the legacy grants systems for transition to the Grants Management Modernization Program", the document says.

Newly revealed documents show the Trump administration took almost $10 million away from FEMA and other federal agencies apparently to pay for immigration detention centers. DHS claims the almost $10 million makes up just 1 percent of their operational account and that they have another $25 billion in their coffers to use during a disaster.

'ICE must have sufficient detention bed capacity to detain illegal aliens when necessary as it enforces the Nation's immigration laws as fairly and effectively as possible, ' the document states.

Merkley's communications director Ray Zaccaro slammed the President for "stripping money from FEMA to pay for locking up families at the border" in a statement issued Wednesday. DHS was allocating money from FEMA to ICE to fund "additional detention camps", he said.

The memorandum sheds light on the immigration-enforcement operations enhanced by the FEMA funds.

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Beebe said that could be the consequences of price increases or the psychology around how people make purchasing decisions. Beijing has issued a list of $60 billion of American products for retaliation if Trump's next tariff hike goes ahead.

A spokesman for DHS responded to Merkley's allegations in a series of tweets late Tuesday, acknowledging the budgetary reallocation but arguing that the funds in question came from "FEMA's routine operating expenses" and "could not have been used for hurricane response due to appropriations limitations".

The "response and recovery" category contains about 21 percent of FEMA's operations budget- about $223 million - does non-public a more instruct characteristic in paying for catastrophe efforts.

Merkley also said that he hoped "for the sake of all Americans who are impacted" that FEMA is prepared for the effects of Hurricane Florence.

Katie Waldman, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman, said the proposed $1 billion increase mirrors the agency's $8.2 billion budget request for fiscal 2019.

The Post noted that ICE asked Congress to place the $1 billion in funding in the continuing resolution.

A senior administration official confirmed to CNN on Thursday that there is an ongoing Department of Homeland Security inspector general investigation that includes FEMA administrator Brock Long.

It is true that Congress sets funding levels for all parts of government through the appropriations process.

The transfer was approved by the Republican chairs of the House and Senate Homeland Security appropriations subcommittees, but not by the rest of the subcommittees' members.

"I would dispute the statement that this has no bearing on ... addressing the challenges from hurricanes", Merkley said. "It needs to stop now".

"Without the transfers and reprogramming identified in this notification, ICE will not be able to fulfill its adult detention requirements in (fiscal year) 2018", the document reads.

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