REPUBLICANS

DHS Used $10M FEMA Funds for ICE Detention Centers

A GOP redistricting group hired an executive director.

Sept. 12, 2018, 10:53 a.m.

The Department of Homeland Security “transferred nearly $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a budget document released by a Democratic senator late Tuesday night, diverting funds from the relief agency at the start of the hurricane season that began in June. The release of the document comes as a major storm barrels toward the East Coast.” (New York Times)

TRUMP'S FOCUS. “Trump on Wednesday ratcheted up his fight with Puerto Rican officials, dwelling on the intense criticism he received last year for his response to Hurricane Maria, even as Hurricane Florence threatens millions of Americans on the East Coast.

“Trump has been aggressive this week in warning Americans in Florence’s path to take the proper precautions, while hailing his government as being 'absolutely totally prepared' for the potentially historic storm. But he has spent almost as much time claiming he hasn’t gotten enough credit for his response to Hurricane Maria last September, despite the fact that thousands of Puerto Ricans died in the storm’s aftermath as the island territory struggled to cope with widespread devastation and power outages.” (Politico)

REDISTRICTING. “Adam Kincaid, a veteran Republican operative who helped his party coordinate redistricting efforts after 2010, will serve as the executive director of the National Republican Redistricting Trust, the GOP’s data and legal hub for the next round of redistricting.” (Politico)

POPE FRANCIS. “Pope Francis is summoning the presidents of every bishops conference around the world for a February summit to discuss preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children—evidence that he realizes the scandal is global and that inaction threatens to undermine his legacy.

“Francis' key cardinal advisers announced the decision Wednesday, a day before Francis meets with U.S. church leaders who have been discredited anew by the latest accusations in the Catholic Church's decades-long sex abuse and cover-up scandal.” (AP)

SHUTDOWN. “After spending the summer threatening to shut down the government if Congress doesn't give him billions of dollars to build a border wall, President Trump is now declaring he thinks a shutdown is good politics for him. That's despite the fact nearly everyone else in his party disagrees.”

“Republican leaders have a hard time imagining a more nightmarish scenario for their party: The government has already shut down briefly twice this year under their watch, and the Republicans' majority is on the line this November in the House of Representatives and maybe even the Senate. Yet Trump doesn't seem to care much. Each time he appears to assuage Republican leaders' concerns by moderating his position, he says something a day or two later more strongly in favor of a shutdown.” (Washington Post)

ELECTION INTERFERENCE. “The Trump administration is preparing a new executive order to allow sanctions of foreign citizens suspected of interference in the American elections, officials who have reviewed the order said.

“The new order is aimed broadly at any potential outside interference in American elections, but is meant to give the government an additional tool to punish, and deter, Russian entities suspected of trying to spread disinformation or otherwise influence the midterm and subsequent balloting.” (New York Times)

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"Vice President Mike Pence will go to Colombia on Monday to speak with the Colombian president and regional leaders about the ongoing turmoil in Venezuela and rally the international community behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó." Pence "will deliver remarks to the 14 nations that are part of the 'Lima Group' in Bogota," and will meet with Colombian President Ivan Duque.

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"U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne became the first official Republican entrant into the 2020 U.S. Senate race announcing his intention to run in a race that could become one of the most expensive political contests in Alabama history. Byrne, a three-term congressman from Fairhope, said he anticipates the fundraising during the lengthy 2020 campaign to eclipse the 2017 special Senate election, in which an estimated $50 million was spent during the contest. Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones, who narrowly defeated Republican Roy Moore in that election, raised more than $24 million."

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"A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist was arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in his Maryland home that authorities say he stockpiled to launch a widespread domestic terrorist attack targeting politicians and journalists...Though court documents do not detail a specific planned date for an attack, the government said he had been amassing supplies and weapons since at least 2017, developed a spreadsheet of targets that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and searched the Internet using phrases such as “best place in dc to see congress people” and “are supreme court justices protected.”

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AVOIDS SHUTDOWN WITH A FEW HOURS TO SPARE
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"President Trump signed a sweeping spending bill Friday afternoon, averting another partial government shutdown. The action came after Trump had declared a national emergency in a move designed to circumvent Congress and build additional barriers at the southern border, where he said the United States faces 'an invasion of our country.'"

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REDIRECTS $8 BILLION
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"President Donald Trump on Friday declared a state of emergency on the southern border and immediately direct $8 billion to construct or repair as many as 234 miles of a border barrier. The move — which is sure to invite vigorous legal challenges from activists and government officials — comes after Trump failed to get the $5.7 billion he was seeking from lawmakers. Instead, Trump agreed to sign a deal that included just $1.375 for border security."

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