Trump amends Puerto Rico disaster declaration to offer more federal funding

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President Trump on Tuesday increased the level of federal aid to Puerto Rico as it recovers from the massive damage caused by Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that hit the island last week.

Trump amended his previous disaster declaration for the territory by declaring that the island would no longer need to split costs with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for cleaning up debris and “emergency protective measures,” instead handing 100 percent of the bill to the federal government.


Previously, FEMA was providing assistance to the island on a cost-shared basis, an expensive proposition for Puerto Rico which is already $70 billion dollars in debt.

Trump announced Tuesday morning he would visit Puerto Rico next week and said the island was “literally destroyed” by Maria.

“When you see 200 mile-an-hour winds, not even Texas had 200 mile-an-hour winds … literally houses are just demolished, it was like tornadoes. It was like having hundreds of tornadoes. The winds,” Trump said Tuesday.

“We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico,” he added of the government’s response to other hurricanes.

Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D) told MSNBC on Tuesday that the island still needs more help from FEMA and the Republican Congress.

“We need more help. We need more help with resources. We need more help with people being deployed so that we can get logistical support elsewhere,” Rosselló said Tuesday.

“And we need Congress to take action so we can have an aid package that is real for the American citizens that live in Puerto Rico and that is flexible so that we can take immediate action.”


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