Carson says people of Puerto Rico have ‘suffered just tremendously’

Greg Nash

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said Puerto Rico has suffered ‘tremendously’ after the devastation from Hurricane Maria.

Carson made the comment in an interview hosted by The Hill on Wednesday morning.


“The people in Puerto Rico have suffered just tremendously,” Carson said, detailing his department’s efforts to help newly homeless American citizens there rebuild their lives.

He added jokingly that rebuilding the U.S. territory could take between “one and 100 years.”

The Senate easily cleared a disaster relief bill on Tuesday, sending the legislation to President Trump’s desk.

The bill, which passed the House earlier this month, would provide $36.5 billion to fund hurricane relief, a flood insurance program and wildfire recovery efforts in the West.

Carson’s comments come as the mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city said a contract to fix the island’s hurricane-ravaged electric grid should be “voided” after it was awarded to a small Montana firm.

House Democrats are pushing for an investigation into the $300 million contract signed by Whitefish Energy.

The company is based in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, but the agency and Whitefish officials have said Zinke had no role in awarding the contract.

According to the Puerto Rican government, 75 percent of Puerto Rico remains without power and 25 percent without safe drinking water.

— This report was updated to clarify Carson’s remarks at 1:50 p.m. EST

Tags Ben Carson disaster relief HUD Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Ryan Zinke

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video