The Republicans in Congress introduced a $36.5 billion disaster relief package, after the series of devastating hurricanes. The money would help Puerto Rico as well as the other affected states and territories. However, the “relief” going to Puerto Rico is more likely to be harmful than helpful.
Puerto Rico’s debt is currently $74 billion. The House Republicans are issuing a $4.9 billion loan that Puerto Ricans will have to repay, instead of awarding the US Territory federal aid to restore power and water, as it is said in the Truth Examiner post.
Yet, the House canceled the $16 billion debt owed by the National Flood Insurance Program in the same bill. None of Puerto Rico’s debt will be canceled, despite of the promises of President Trump.
The bill includes $3.58 in disaster relief grants. This must be shared between Texas, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alabama, and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is unlikely to receive much funding, because of how badly Texas and Florida were hit. So the House couldn’t bother to even offer the $4.9 billion in aid to maintain basic government operations in Puerto Rico without seeking repayment and interest, while it was quick to wipe out the NFIP’s $16 billion obligation to the U.S. government.
The worst part is, Puerto Rico is running out of money, and there is a possibility it will have to shut down their government as soon as October 12, 2017. And the Republicans are apparently “helping” them by adding to their debt.
The situation in Puerto Rico is still a disaster as more than 80% of the island is still without power. Puerto Rico’s government has reported on Tuesday that only around 10 percent of the island’s residents have electricity. The Hurricane Maria – a Category 4 storm hit the island three weeks ago.
The fact that Congressional Republicans have chosen to burden Puerto Rico with yet another loan to repay is just testifying of how “compassionate” Republicans are.