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Pelosi Accuses Trump of ‘Stealing’ Relief Funds

Michael Rainey

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Trump administration’s effort to shift $271 million within the Department of Homeland Security to support activities at the border is a “brazen assault” on the congressional power of the purse.

In a statement Wednesday, Pelosi urged the administration to reconsider its decision to reprogram the funds, which were originally appropriated for Federal Emergency Management Agency relief funds and the Coast Guard.

“Stealing from appropriated funds is always unacceptable, but to pick the pockets of disaster relief funding in order to fund an appalling, inhumane family incarceration plan is staggering,” Pelosi said, adding that “to do so on the eve of hurricane season is stunningly reckless.”

While Pelosi and other Democratic leaders expressed outrage at the Trump administration’s move, the Associated Press noted that “[i]t is not uncommon for unassigned funds to be transferred between agencies under the same department as the fiscal year ends.” Last year, roughly $10 million was shifted from FEMA to other uses, AP said, in a move that drew “major criticism from Democrats.”

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