Thursday, October 12, 2017

While US House debates disaster aid package to Puerto Rico President Trump lashes out at the Island.

President Trump lashes out at the Island of Puerto Rico in several tweets.

ICMS, Inc. Reports
Tom Okure, Ph.D

Puerto Rico Island is blamed by President Trump for its looming financial crisis and “a total lack of accountability.  In a series of tweets, the President indicated that “electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes.” The President further tweeted that “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”
Highway 10, a major north-south connection in
Puerto Rico was totally washed out.

The House is currently debating passage of a disaster aid package of $36.5 billion which includes assistance for Puerto Rico. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House said in his remarks that the U.S. government desires to see the Island “begin to stand on its own two feet” and consequently the U.S. “got to do more to help Puerto Rico rebuild its own economy.”
The bill under debate will combine $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with $16 billion to allow the federal flood insurance program which is financially strapped to pay a flood of Harvey-related claims. Another $577 million would pay for western firefighting efforts.
The bill also allows up to $5 billion of the FEMA money to provide assistance to local governments in order to enable them remain functional due to shortfalls in their cash requirements as a consequence of hurricane Maria, which has reduced local government revenues and stressed their resources.

Electricity poles and power lines toppled throughout Puerto Rico Island
President Trump’s tweets conflicts with recent statements he made on Puerto Rico. For example, in his remarks last week while honoring the heritage of Hispanics, he said, “We will be there all the time to help Puerto Rico recover, restore, rebuild.”
Democratic response to Trump’s attacks were swift noting that his remarks are “shameful,” especially in view of the hardship currently confronting 3 million plus U.S. citizens on Puerto Rico island. According to government statistics, many weeks after the hurricane hit the island, more than one third of the residents still lack access to clean running water and only about 8 percent of the island road as are passable.

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