"FEMA officials have already stated that no money was transferred from disaster accounts, despite the misleading and distractive narrative being pushed". The transfer of almost $10 million from FEMA ignited public outrage as the southeastern United States braces for a powerful hurricane, Florence, and the likelihood of a costly response and cleanup effort.
"This is a scandal", Merkley said in a statement provided to HuffPost.
Merkely said he believes the budgeting reallocation happened in response to the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy, which was rolled out earlier this year.
The head of the government's disaster relief agency said Thursday he never intentionally misused federal vehicles, following a report he was under investigation by the Homeland Security Department's internal watchdog. Watch above, via MSNBC.
"It means just as hurricane season is starting, and it usually starts June 1, the administration is working hard to find funds for additional detention camps and it's all part of the child separation policy". The Category 4 storm is expected to make landfall in North Carolina Thursday and may be the costliest hurricane in USA history.
Jeff Byard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's associate administrator for response and recovery, said the important issue was that the hurricane would be a "Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast" and people had to heed evacuation orders. "DHS/FEMA stand fiscally and operationally ready to support current and future response and recovery needs", Tyler Q. Houlton wrote on Twitter.
FEMA even contacted Merkley's office to explain the facts - to no avail. An estimated almost 3,000 Puerto Ricans died in the wake of Hurricane Maria previous year and many - including the San Juan mayor - have been critical of what they call a lackluster and underwhelming response to the devastation.
"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.
Tylet Houlton, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees both agencies, dismissed criticism of the document as a "sorry attempt to push a false agenda" and said none of the money transferred came from disaster relief funding.
"As an overall, the meeting was long on excuses and on misrepresentations and short on information and solutions. one thing we do know, they are taking 1% of every DHS department and putting that towards family detention and family separation", Gallego said.
Long was chosen by President Donald Trump to lead FEMA and confirmed by the Senate in 2017.
"The power is going to be off for weeks and you will be displaced from your home and the coastal areas", Long said.
'The safety of the American people is my absolute highest priority. "We are sparing no expense".
It was "one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about", Trump said.