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Trump defunded $10 million from FEMA ‘response and recovery’ to spend on ICE detentions — just before hurricane season

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Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) released a set of documents proving that President Donald Trump has slashed funding to FEMA so that he can do more deportations under the US Customs and Border Protection.

An entire column of funding has been slashed for FEMA, according to Merkley’s documents, totally $10 million.

According to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson didn’t dispute the authenticity of the document.

“Instead, [they] told us that the money didn’t come from any of our disaster response and recovery efforts, but again, it appears that it did come from FEMA,” Maddow reported.

According to the documents, however, the money comes from “response and recovery.”

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“It means that just as hurricane season is starting because it generally starts June 1, the administration is working hard to find funds for additional detention camps, and of course this is all part of the child separation policy,” Merkley told Maddow. “And that’s how this information came into my hands, because of my work on this issue of trying to stop the child separations.”

He said that knowing what happened last year, the last thing Trump should be doing is taking money from FEMA.

“Then look what we’ve had since, a hurricane just barely missed Hawaii,” he continued. “A tropical storm that almost became a hurricane hit Mississippi, and now we have this hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas. I find it extraordinary. And by the way, Rachel, the chart you put up is the same chart I have in my hand right here. It says that money came from response and recovery right on it. So I would dispute the statement that this has no bearing on addressing the challenges from hurricanes.”

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“Senator, let me ask you one sort of technical question here, but one that may be important to the future of what happens next now that you have exposed this document,” Maddow said. “Are there potential legal issues here? I know there is some flexibility in budgeting and that’s sort of baked into the way the government runs. But is there a legal problem here of Congress specifically appropriated homeland security funds instructing the administration on how to spend money in this area, and then the administration ignored those instructions and decided to spend this money on something else?”

He said that the administration has the ability fo move this amount of funds, but that they must do a report to Congress about it. If the amount is over $5 million they have to tell the chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee. In this case, it would fall under the Homeland Security Subcommittee and the chair (in this case Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)) must sign off.

Watch the interview with Merkley below:

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Kim Jong-un threatens to restart nuke tests as Trump’s efforts to talk to the regime fall apart again: report

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On Tuesday, CNN's Brian Todd reported that the North Korean regime is on the brink of rescinding what little they promised President Donald Trump, as the future of his efforts to continue talks appear uncertain.

"Kim Jong-un's regime is once again in negotiation by intimidation," said Todd. "Just two weeks after their historic meeting at the DMZ, and President Trump's short stroll into North Korea, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be threatening to start testing his nuclear weapons again. In a new statement, Kim's foreign ministry calls the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises planned for next month a breach of the main spirit of what President Trump and Kim agreed to in Singapore, and says, 'We are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S."

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‘He’s ignorant — not stupid’: NYT columnist says Trump is trying to ‘bait’ Democrats because he wants to run against AOC

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President Donald Trump is not going to get the 2020 opponent he wants, so he's going to pretend that his actual opposition is being led by the four young women in Congress known as The Squad, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote on Tuesday.

Trump has spent the last few days with racist attacks on the four first-term members, who are Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

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‘Nickel and Dimed’ for the sharing economy: Inside the hellish new reality of low-wage work

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In 2001, journalist Barbara Ehrenreich's investigative book "Nickel and Dimed" revealed to those who weren't on low-wage payrolls how expensive it is to be a member of the working poor in America. Some things haven't changed since Ehrenreich's experiences working as a Walmart clerk, a restaurant server and a maid, among other jobs. Housing can still be prohibitively expensive on low hourly wages, and high turnover remains a constant. Workers still risk their health — mental, physical and emotional — every precarious day.

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