Sen. Jeff Merkley isn’t letting up on the Trump administration for taking $10 million from FEMA ahead of hurricane season to pay for more prisons for immigrants.
Video of Sen. Merkley on MSNBC‘s Andrea Mitchell Reports:
Merkley said, “I think it is a shock to everyone that in the first month of the hurricane season knowing what happened a year ago that FEMA agreed to have $10 million taken out of the accounts including significant amounts out of the response and recovery account and another significant account out of the preparedness and protection account, and that is relevant preparing for and responding to the disasters such as the approaching challenge from Hurricane Florence that is approaching the shore.”
Trump moved the money because the administration is trying to scrounge up the funds to pay for more cages to hold immigrant children and their parents. Almost as big as Trump‘s decision to take money away from the agency that helps with disaster recovery is the fact that FEMA’s leadership agreed to allow Trump to move the funds.
In a statement to PoliticusUSA, Sen. Merkley called the entire situation a scandal, “This is a scandal. At the start of hurricane season—when American citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still suffering from FEMA’s inadequate recovery efforts—the administration transferred millions of dollars away from FEMA. And for what? To implement their profoundly misguided ‘zero tolerance’ policy. It wasn’t enough to rip thousands of children out of the arms of their parents—the administration chose to partly pay for this horrific program by taking away from the ability to respond to damage from this year’s upcoming and potentially devastating hurricane season.”
Trump’s moving of FEMA funds undercuts his bragging about the preparedness of his administration
Trump’s actions rarely match his words. Trump has been telling the country that his administration is ready to handle Hurricane Florence, but with the way Trump has been treating FEMA one has to wonder if another repeat of the debacle after Hurricane Maria is in the works. Trump most definitely doesn’t have this, and when Democrats get control of Congress, an investigation into how FEMA is being run should be in the cards.