FEMA criticized for plan to end hurricane aid in Puerto Rico
01 February, 2018, 01:07 | Author: Christina Harvey
In the face of blistering criticism from both Florida senators that the federal government was cutting off food and water supplies to Puerto Rico, federal management officials said Wednesday that they will continue to provide aid to the hurricane-battered island.
Earlier this week, the agency's director in Puerto Rico, Alejandro De La Campa, insisted in an interview with National Public Radio that Puerto Rico had recovered sufficiently to justify handing off delivery responsibilities to the island's government and nonprofit groups.
Audio will be available later today.
The president is expected to talk extensively about tax reform, infrastructure and immigration in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
"During all the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, there's been a feature of the Trump administration and that is that they take away the aid before it's done", Cruz concluded. "Now is not the time to remove this life-sustaining assistance", the letter says.
Residents of Jayuga, Puerto Rico, unload food and water from a HH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on October 4, 2017, as part of relief efforts to support FEMA in the recovery process following Hurricane Maria.
FEMA will "officially shut off" its emergency humanitarian aid for the island on Wednesday after providing more than 30 million gallons of potable water and almost 60 million meals following the storm. "Puerto Rico is a USA territory and its residents are US citizens". Despite visiting the island and signing a $36.5 billion emergency aid measure to refill disaster accounts, provide a cash infusion and bail out the federal flood insurance program, Trump has received considerable flack from Democrats and Puerto Ricans for failing to fix the island faster. Marco Rubio, who also represents Florida, who pointed out many in America have misconceptions about Puerto Rico, which may compound the problem.
Local Corps employee Keith Hyde received recognition on January 20 during an award ceremony in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, for his work following Hurricane Irma, which was August 30-Sept.
The agency said Wednesday that distribution of supplies already stockpiled on the island will continue.
"We have some water, a way to store water for their necessities, not drinking water but for just the use of the house", he said. "As progress continues from response to recovery across the island, we will continue to support the needs of survivors supporting the government of Puerto Rico", the statement continued.
This week's sudden turnabout suggests bipartisan political pressure still works - especially when it is wielded by members from Florida, the nation's biggest presidential battleground state.
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