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Casa » House passes big disaster aid bill but there's political trouble ahead

House passes big disaster aid bill but there's political trouble ahead

13 Octubre 2017

Senator Marco Rubio said on Thursday he has urged U.S. President Donald Trump to create a high-level task force to provide ideas and advice for helping Puerto Rico to rebuild after Hurricane Maria, and that the president was receptive to the idea.

The president's tweets set off a flurry of chatter online, given that the U.S. territory is barely entering its third week with the majority of the population still without power and one-third without water.

The House of Representatives approved Thursday a $36.5 billion disaster aid package to help victims struggling to recover from a string of devastating hurricanes and wildfires.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reiterated during a Thursday news briefing that the Trump administration would "stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done".

"Our focus has continued to be in supporting FEMA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in deployment of logistical support forces, commodities and medical capabilities, and we certainly still have air missions that are moving food and water and other vital capabilities into Puerto Rico", Miller told AFP. "Mr. President, fulfill your moral imperative towards the people of Puerto Rico".

"There are reports of residents obtaining, or trying to obtain, drinking water from wells at hazardous waste 'Superfund' sites in Puerto Rico", the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a release.

Significant relief efforts remain underway in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, totaling over $1.4 billion this year in disaster recovery money, plus another $1.2 billion this year after Hurricane Matthew last year.

The Senate, also controlled by Republicans, is expected to vote on the package later this month. Congress to decide how much to spend.We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!

"We have gone all out for Puerto Rico", Trump said at that meeting with Puerto Rico officials, including Cruz.

The governor's office did not respond to queries about the total amount of aid requested, which is now equivalent to around half of Puerto Rico's debt of some US$73 billion.

But conservatives argued that the longer Congress waits, the less excuse it has for not finding spending offsets. The death toll in Florida after Hurricane Irma, which made landfall on Sept. 10, also reached 75, the Miami Herald reported, not counting the more than 38 people who died in the Caribbean.

The bill combines $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency with $16 billion to permit the financially troubled federal flood insurance program pay an influx of Harvey-related claims.

For context, the United States has no governing body that's responsible for regulating the Internet, other than false commercialization (handled by the FTC) and illegal content, like pornography (handled by the FCC).

House passes big disaster aid bill but there's political trouble ahead