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Trump Took $10m From FEMA To Pay For ICE

Trump administration took $10 million from FEMA’s budget to support ICE. USA Today: “The Trump administration took nearly $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s budget this summer to help boost U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to budget documents shared with USA TODAY. The revelation, just ahead of Hurricane Florence’s expected landfall in North and South Carolina, was found by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who first shared the documents live on MSNBC late Tuesday. He told USA TODAY that after the devastation of last year’s storms, including hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma, FEMA should have the funds it needs to be prepared for another disastrous hurricane season. It’s almost guaranteed to happen again, so this is just incredibly irresponsible,’ Merkley said. The budgeting document, titled “Department of Homeland Security FY 2018 transfer and reprogramming notifications,” lists $9,755,303 taken from FEMA’s budget, about .9 percent of the agency’s listed overall budget, and given to support ICE. Money was also taken from other agencies, including millions from the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, to help ICE, the document states.”

FEMA Denies Funerals For 2,356 Puerto Ricans

More Than 2,000 Puerto Ricans Applied For Funeral Assistance After Hurricane Maria. FEMA Approved Just 75.. BuzzFeed: “FEMA approved just 3% of applications for funeral assistance from more than 2,000 Puerto Rican families who lost loved ones after Hurricane Maria, according to a letter the agency head wrote to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. In response to an earlier letter from Warren, Brock Long, director of FEMA, wrote on Aug. 14 that as of July 30, his agency had received 2,431 requests for funeral assistance from Puerto Ricans related to the hurricane — they approved just 75 of them, meaning 97% have either been rejected or have not received a decision almost a year after Maria hit the island. FEMA’s funeral assistance is intended to help people who have lost loved ones in disaster situations pay for funeral costs, including caskets, mortuary services, burial plots, and cremations. Although Long did not give a specific reason in his letter for the rejections, he pointed to FEMA’s requirements for funeral assistance. To qualify, Puerto Ricans had to provide a death certificate or letter from a government official “that clearly indicates the death was attributed to the emergency or disaster, either directly or indirectly,” Long wrote in the letter obtained by BuzzFeed News, which he wrote on behalf of FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services. But getting that information was impossible for many families because, as the Puerto Rican government recently admitted, officials were not counting hurricane-related deaths correctly. Two weeks ago Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló admitted that authorities vastly undercounted how many people were dying because of the hurricane, partly because they failed to provide clear instructions to doctors and funeral homes on how death certificates should be filled out. He updated the official death count from 64 to an estimated 2,975 people, after months of insistence in the immediate aftermath of the storm that there were no errors.”

Tax Cuts Push Budget Deficit To $1 Trillion

Deficit expected to hit one trillion dollars this year. ThinkProgress: “The U.S. deficit will approach $1 trillion dollars by the end of this fiscal year, according to new estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. From this time last year until now, the U.S. deficit grew by $222 billion — reaching a total of $895 billion. The CBO previously did not anticipate reaching $1 trillion dollars until 2020. This latest analysis comes as House Republicans unveil their new round of tax cuts, colloquially named “Tax Cuts 2.0.” The cuts would add more than $2 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, according to a conservative estimate by The Washington Post. A more liberal estimate puts it at $3.4 trillion over the same time period. And that’s not even accounting for the $1.9 trillion dollar cost of the original GOP tax bill passed in December. The second round of tax cuts, spearheaded by House Ways & Means Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), aims to fix what the original tax bill didn’t initially address. For example, while corporations enjoyed a permanent tax cut in the GOP tax bill, individuals and families were only offered a temporary cut that Congress would have to extend by 2025.”

GOP Wants $2 Trillion Mire In Tax Cuts

House GOP is pushing a new round of tax cuts that could cost $2 trillion. WaPo: “House Republicans bracing for November’s midterm elections unveiled a second round of tax cuts on Monday that could add more than $2 trillion to the federal deficit over a decade, aiming to cement the steep cuts they passed last fall despite criticisms of fiscal profligacy and tailoring their policies to help the rich. The GOP’s ‘tax reform 2.0′ aims to make permanent the tax cuts for individuals that President Trump signed into law in December 2017, including the law’s temporary reductions in individual filers’ rates, a doubling of the Child Tax Credit, and cuts to the estate tax paid by a small fraction of the wealthiest families. Critics have said the proposed changes would primarily benefit the wealthiest taxpayers, while Republicans have argued their tax cuts help fuel the American economy by putting more money in consumers’ hands.”

GOP Fears Losing House, Senate

‘Shipwreck’: GOP grows fearful about losing Senate as candidates struggle, Trump support tumbles. WaPo: “Republicans have grown increasingly worried about losing control of the Senate, as President Trump’s approval rating tumbles and Democrats gain steam in key battleground races. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday sounded some of the most doubtful notes of Trump’s presidency that Republicans will keep the upper chamber of Congress, telling reporters, ‘I hope when the smoke clears, we’ll still have a majority.’ His comments came as Republican strategists and officials fretted over a fresh round of private polling on the Senate races, while public polls registered further erosion in Americans’ approval of Trump. “Shipwreck” was how one leading strategist described the situation, adding an expletive to underscore the severity of the party’s problems. One of the most unexpected fights is in reliably GOP Texas, where Sen. Ted Cruz is trying to fend off Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Republicans are so fearful about losing the seat that they are diverting resources to Texas, a sore point in the White House after the animosity between Cruz and Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Beyond Texas, Sen. Joe Donnelly, once seen as perhaps the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent, has opened up a slight edge over Republican businessman Mike Braun in Indiana, while hopes for picking off Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) in a state Trump won by 43 percentage points have faded along with GOP confidence in state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the Republican nominee.”

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