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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.

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“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.”

“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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2020 Election

Joe Biden to air first general-election TV ads in Texas as polls show increasingly close race against President Donald Trump

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Joe Biden is launching his first general-election TV ads in Texas as a growing number of polls show a close presidential race here.

As part of a four-state ad buy that Biden's campaign is announcing Tuesday, the presumptive Democratic nominee is going up with a 60-second spot in Texas that addresses the increasingly dire coronavirus situation here.

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Restaurant owner kicks out ‘crazy’ Trump supporter who flashed a gun at employee who asked him to wear a mask

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A supporter of President Donald Trump was recently kicked out of a barbecue joint in Kansas after he flashed a gun at an employee who asked him to wear a face mask.

The Kansas City Star reports that a man wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat walked into the RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack in Mission, Kansas last week without wearing a face mask.

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2020 Election

In Trump’s ‘murder the messenger’ White House ‘it’s survival of the morally sickest’: conservative

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In his column for the Daily Beast, conservative -- and former Republican -- Matt Lewis explained that Donald Trump's decision to turn on Dr. Anthony Fauci is yet another example of his habit of destroying advisers who don't tell him what he wants to hear which is why and, in this case, more Americans are going to die in the coronavirus pandemic.

As Lewis notes, Fauci, who has been brutally frank about the resurgent COVID-19 health crisis that is now swamping Arizona, Texas and Florida, joins a long line of high profile administration officials who have found themselves on the president's hit list for not toeing the administration's line.

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