Puerto Rico governor asks Congress for more federal aid after hurricane
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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is asking Congress to consider providing about $4.6 billion in funding beyond the Trump administration’s request last week to help the U.S. territory recover from Hurricane Maria.

In a letter made public on Monday to House and Senate leaders, Rosselló requested funding for federal grant and loan programs “to meet the immediate emergency needs of Puerto Rico.”

Rosselló’s request includes $3.2 billion for Community Development Block Grants, $500 million for the Community Disaster Loan Program, $500 million for the Social Services Block Grant, $149 million for the Emergency Relief Program, $90 million for the Disaster Loan Program, $83 million for the Commodity Assistance Program and $78 million for the State Educational Agencies and Hurricane Education Recovery.


“Puerto Rico has experienced a natural disaster of a magnitude not seen in over a century, and we are doing everything possible to address the needs of the American citizens of Puerto Rico during this time of crisis,” Rosselló wrote.

“However, the unprecedented level of destruction, coupled with the almost complete shut-down of business in Puerto Rico, have made it impossible for us to meet the considerable human needs without the measures proposed above.”

The Trump administration made a formal request to Congress last week for $29 billion to assist communities affected by recent hurricanes — including Maria — and wildfires.

The request asks for $12.8 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund, $16 billion for debt relief for the federal flood insurance program and $576.5 for wildfire recovery.

The House is expected to vote this week on legislation that meets the Trump administration’s request. As of Monday afternoon, the House Appropriations Committee has not yet unveiled the bill and could add the funding request from Rosselló.

Rosselló warned that an absence of sufficient resources to rebuild Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria could result in “an acceleration of the high pace of out-migration” of residents to places on the U.S. mainland such as Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Texas.

Congress previously enacted a $15 billion disaster relief package in early September after Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas. The latest funding package is also expected to provide aid for communities in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma.