After months of back and forth, Democrats rejected a disaster relief package in the Senate on Monday after it failed to provide for hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.
Senators voted 44-49 on the GOP proposal and came nowhere near the 60 votes needed to pass the measure which included $13.45 billion in funding to help respond to a recent series of devastating hurricanes, storms and wildfires. While the Democrats are all for relief funding for ALL of these disasters, they couldn’t in good conscience pass the measure without proper funding for our fellow Americans still struggling to survive in Puerto Rico after the island was virtually destroyed by Hurricanes last year.
Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) properly summed up Trump’s response to Puerto Rico as “cruel” and “nasty” and also stated:
‘I want to implore my friends on the Republican side to remember that Puerto Rico is still recovering from hurricanes.’
The GOP proposal does include $600 million in food stamp aid in Puerto Rico, but this only scratches the surface of what is actually needed right now, but sadly, our so-called “president” and his party don’t seem to care.
Puerto Rico Governor, Ricardo Rosselló, stated that the proposal:
‘falls short of addressing the majority of our most pressing needs. While the $600 million it provides for Puerto Rico’s Nutritional Assistance Program is vital to the wellbeing of our citizens, it is imperative that our needs be addressed.’
The Governor’s comments come just one week after Trump, in a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans, railed against Puerto Rico’s “bad” fiscal management when it comes to their relief funds, and said that he thinks Puerto Rico gets too much money already.
Republicans and the “president” are already blaming Democrats for rejecting the proposal. Earlier Monday Trump tweeted:
Democrats should stop fighting Sen. David Perdue’s disaster relief bill. They are blocking funding and relief for our great farmers and rural America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2019
Trump’s tweet was a bold-faced lie! Democrats are NOT against aid for states in dire need of assistance — they simply want the same relief for ALL Americans in need, which does include Puerto Rico. In fact, the Democrats have tried at length to come to a compromise.
According to reports:
‘On Monday evening, Leahy asked the Senate to consider his previously proposedamendment to the bill, which would have provided an additional $431 million in additional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds “to help Puerto Rico and other states cover the FEMA cost-share on relief projects” as well as $250 million “for state revolving funds that would help Puerto Rico and others rebuild damaged water systems and ensure they are resilient for future storms.” That amendment was rejected.’
The truth of the matter is that Republicans aren’t interested in compromise. They will get what they want even if it costs the suffering of millions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell himself said that the GOP’s proposal was “the only game in town.” Think about that, and make sure that your Republican friends are aware of the facts.
Puerto Rico is in desperate need of their president’s help, and Trump has all but turned his back on them.
Featured image via Flickr