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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News offers the following information published by WASHINGTONEXAMINER.COM:

A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson on Wednesday slammed Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., for saying the Department of Homeland Security agency transferred nearly $10 million from FEMA to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help with the costs of detaining illegal immigrants, instead of using the money for emergency relief efforts.

“After calling @SenJeffMerkley staff to inform them of the facts surrounding @FEMA budget we were told ‘It’s a TV hit, you take it where you can’ — regardless of the facts?” FEMA spokeswoman Jenny Burke wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

The article goes on to state the following:

On Tuesday evening, Merkley released documents he said indicated FEMA sent $9.8 million to ICE this month. Merkley claimed it was to fund housing and detention centers for illegal immigrants.

But a DHS official on Wednesday said in a written statement the $9.8 million of additional funds in FEMA’s operations account was transferred to a different agency because congressional appropriations rules prevented that pot of money from being repurposed for disaster relief.

The savings came from operational expenses that came in under budget, including employee travel expenses, training, basic purchase cards, office supplies, and headquarters overhead support, according to that official.

DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton tweeted Tuesday night:

Under no circumstances was any disaster relief funding transferred from @fema to immigration enforcement efforts. This is a sorry attempt to push a false agenda at a time when the administration is focused on assisting millions on the East Coast facing a catastrophic disaster.

The money in question — transferred to ICE from FEMA’s routine operating expenses — could not have been used for hurricane response due to appropriation limitations. DHS/FEMA stand fiscally and operationally ready to support current and future response and recovery needs.

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