The Trump administration has not yet given Puerto Rico $600 million in food stamp aid more than two weeks after the president signed the emergency funding into law, according to federal and territory officials
With over a million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico facing devastating food stamp cuts as Congress fails to provide necessary hurricane relief funding, President Donald Trump reportedly complained to Republican senators on Tuesday that the island is receiving "too much" aid—a position that was decried as both false and cruel.
Coralis Camacho Garcia left Puerto Rico almost a year after Hurricane Maria. In July, she moved to Kissimmee, Florida, to find better healthcare for her children. Voting in the midterm elections wasn’t on the top of her mind — nor did she realize the effort it could take to cast a ballot. Camacho Garcia is one of tens of thousands of people to leave the island for Florida. Many of them have faced a bureaucratic nightmare as they attempt to exercise their right to vote.
The revised death toll is nearly 50 times the previous estimate of 64 Governor Ricardo Rossello "accepted" the findings in a long-awaited independent investigation. Puerto Rico has struggled to repair its infrastructure and power grid since the storm, and is asking US Congress for $139bn (£108bn) in recovery funds.
A highly credible new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the ultimate fallout from Hurricane Maria was 4,600 “excess deaths” — more than twice the mortality of Hurricane Katrina and the deadliest natural disaster on US soil in more than a century. Suspicion will, of course, linger for years that there’s a connection between Trump’s habit of weaponizing anti-Latino hysteria as the centerpiece of his politics and the unfolding of an essentially unprecedented human tragedy in a Spanish-speaking US territory. The possibility that Trump and his team simply have no idea what they’re doing should not, however, be dismissed out of hand.
Means testing has now come to disaster aid — and it only applies to Puerto Rico. When Congress passed a $36.5 billion disaster relief bill to bolster rebuilding efforts in several wildfire and hurricane-damaged areas in October, it shortchanged Puerto Rico, giving it a $4.9 billion loan instead of the grant that other areas received. Now, it appears the debt- and hurricane-ravaged island won’t even get that money.
President Trump served notice Thursday that he may pull back federal relief workers from Puerto Rico, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a staggering humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Declaring the U.S. territory's electrical grid and infrastructure to have been a “disaster before hurricanes,” Trump wrote Thursday that it will be up to Congress how much federal money to appropriate to the island for its recovery efforts and that recovery workers will not stay “forever.”
Rachel Maddow joined Jimmy Fallon Thursday night on his show and she said that Donald Trump’s NFL tweeting madness was done to make money — despite the humanitarian crisis brewing in Puerto Rico.
Democrats think they have set the stage to block President Trump’s legislative priorities for years to come by winning major concessions in a spending bill to keep the government open. In addition to the $5 billion in domestic spending, the bipartisan agreement released early Monday morning is packed with Democratic priorities, such as protection for funding for Planned Parenthood, a permanent extension of health care for coal miners and money to help Puerto Rico make up a projected shortfall in Medicaid.