NPR : News

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.

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Making Art Off The Grid: A Month-Long Residency At A Remote National Park

Filmmakers Carter McCormick and Paula Sprenger recently wrapped up a month as artists-in-residence at Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West. No phone, TV, Internet or other people.

After A Long Day Of Fighting Climate Change, This Grain Is Ready For A Beer

Kernza is a kind of grassy wheat that traps more carbon in the soil than crops like wheat and rice. Now, a West Coast brewery is using the grain in its new beer called Long Root Ale.
WAMU 88.5

Why Millions Of American Men Have Left The Workforce, And How To Bring Them Back

Today’s unemployment rate is down sharply from the height of the Great Recession. But more than a fifth of American men had no paid employment last year, and seven million of them have stopped looking altogether. Why men are leaving the workforce – and how to bring them back.

WAMU 88.5

Jet Noise Is No Joke For Residents Burned By Report About Airport Complaints

Nobody wants to own up to making thousands of complaints about noise from planes flying out of Reagan National Airport. But nearby residents say the noise definitely has gotten worse recently. And there appears to be a specific reason — a new air traffic control system.

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