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With No Plan From Congress, Homeland Security Improvises

Congress left Washington without agreeing on a funding plan for the unaccompanied minors coming over the Southern U.S. border, so the Obama administration's Department of Homeland Security is creating one on its own.

"I have been left with no choice but to reprogram money away from other homeland security missions," Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

A total of $405 million is being moved from other programs to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection from running out of money in the coming weeks as they deal with the border crisis. DHS wrote Congress on Aug. 1 with the specifics:

  • $267.6 million is coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief account;
  • $31.5 million from the Coast Guard, which will delay maintenance of agency vessels;
  • $34.7 million from the Transportation Security Administration, delaying maintenance of airport security screening equipment;
  • $70.5 million will come from other programs within Customs and Border Protection.

Johnson wrote:

"I was disappointed that Congress left for its August recess without acting on the President's request for supplemental funding to support the men and women of this Department who have worked overtime to respond to the urgent situation. I hope when Congress returns in September it will act quickly on the request."

S.V. Dáte edits congressional and campaign finance coverage for NPR's Washington Desk.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago Monday.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
WAMU 88.5

State Taxes, School Budgets And The Quality Of Public Education

Budget cutbacks have made it impossible for many states to finance their public schools. But some have bucked the trend by increasing taxes and earmarking those funds for education. Taxes, spending and the quality of public education.

NPR

A Robot That Harms: When Machines Make Life Or Death Decisions

An artist has designed a robot that purposefully defies Isaac Asimov's law that "a robot may not harm humanity" — to bring urgency to the discussion about self-driving and other smart technology.

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