The budget document Merkley cited, which was later released and publicized by the DHS Watch program at America's Voice, an advocacy group based in Washington, showed a breakdown of how DHS moved money between different programs and agencies.
DHS says that since the money had not been spent, authorization to do so was going to expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30. Merkley spoke about the document Tuesday on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" and on CNN Wednesday.
Houlton said the $10 million was taken from FEMA's "routine operating accounts" and was money that could not be used for disaster relief.
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. Insufficient funding, DHS observes, could prevent the agency from deporting people who stand in violation of the country's immigration laws while requiring ICE to "release any new book-ins and illegal border violators", to "reduce its current interior enforcement operations" and to limit "criminal alien and fugitive arrests". "On the beginning of hurricane season-when American electorate in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are restful plagued by FEMA's inadequate recovery efforts-the administration transferred millions of bucks remote from FEMA", Merkley talked about in a paper commentary launched Tuesday evening - aspects he reiterated in an interview Wednesday morning.
If we look at things from a broader perspective, $10 million from the FEMA's budget isn't quite big of an amount considering its annual budget is about $15 billion. He has continued to be a critical voice on the Trump administration's immigration policy, which included separating families at the border when the administration made a decision to criminally detain individuals caught crossing the border illegally.
The DHS document is undated but Merkley's staff says it was submitted in June 2018, a month after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration's new "zero tolerance" policy that led to family separations.
Merkley's office blasted the comment. And that's not counting the disaster relief budget at all, which has $25 billion in it, DHS says.
Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean as it threatens the US East Coast.
That funding can not be spent on disaster response, they said. "Any elected official who attempts to politicize this storm to further their own partisan agenda and personal political ambitions should be ashamed of themselves".
"If the Congress approves the request, ICE would have the funding for operations necessary to support and increase staffing and operations as the DHS Secretary determines to be appropriate", Waldman said in a statement. "We'll get an answer to that question", he said.
"This is yet another example of the Trump Administration's outrageously misplaced homeland security priorities", said Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of MS, ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security.
The "monster", as Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina labeled the storm gathering strength off the southeastern Atlantic coast, threatens enormous damage and a replay of last year's devastating hurricane season, in which FEMA was woefully unprepared for the catastrophe that befell Puerto Rico, according to an after-action report by the agency.
Florence is forecast to hit the Carolinas as a Category 4 hurricane later this week, one of the strongest storms to strike the area in almost 30 years.
But while FEMA officials issued dire warnings about the days ahead, President Donald Trump insisted-despite what Merkley's documents show-that the White House is "sparing no expense" and is "totally prepared" for the storm.