Speed Reads


Trump reportedly redirects FEMA funding to the border as likely hurricane bears down on Puerto Rico

The timing on this could not be more telling.

On Tuesday morning, Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Dorian was predicted to become a hurricane when it hits the island on Wednesday. And on Tuesday afternoon, NBC News reported that President Trump's administration opted to transfer $251 million in Department of Homeland Security disaster relief to the southern border.

Puerto Rico is still recovering from disastrous hurricanes that hit the island nearly two years ago, only receiving $900 million in relief funding in May after months of delays. Yet all the while, Trump has zeroed in on the southern border, even declaring a national emergency in an attempt to build his border wall.

The bill funding Puerto Rico's disaster relief didn't include Trump's border demands. But that didn't stop the Trump administration this week from reportedly relocating $271 million from DHS — including from FEMA's disaster relief fund — to fund detention and increased immigration hearings. $155 million of that total would go to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, NBC News reports via department officials and a letter sent to FEMA by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.).

Trump tweeted about the upcoming storm earlier on Tuesday, seemingly lamenting that the emergency spending Congress recently allocated for Puerto Rico wasn't preventing more hurricanes from coming.

$92 billion is actually far less than the amount of disaster funding Puerto Rico has actually received — though it could probably buy a lot of nukes to ward off hurricanes in the first place.