Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform have reopened their investigation into the Trump Administration’s disaster response after hurricanes struck Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2017, The Hill reports.
Led by Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Democrats on the panel have written to the White House, the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, and the Department of Health and Human Services or HHS, asking for documentation on the response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The hurricanes caused widespread power failure and infrastructure damage across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in September, 2017. Hurricane Maria caused almost 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico alone, according to a study commissioned by the island’s officials.
Trump tweeted on Monday that Puerto Rico has received $91 billion in aid. The Washington Post notes that Puerto Rico’s recovery office states that only $11.4 billion in FEMA funds have been approved at this point, and only $5.72 billion disbursed. $91 billion about matches long-run estimates of how much Puerto Rico could get if it gets the same treatment as a U.S. state.
“Puerto Rico has been given more money by Congress for Hurricane Disaster Relief, 91 Billion Dollars, than any State in the history of the U.S. As an example, Florida got $12 Billion & Texas $39 Billion for their monster hurricanes,” Trump said in a pair of tweets.
Now the Democrats are saying NO Relief to Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and others unless much more money is given to Puerto Rico. The Dems don’t want farmers to get any help. Puerto Rico should be very happy and the Dems should stop blocking much needed Disaster Relief!”
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