San Juan mayor: GOP tax bill would be worse for Puerto Rico than hurricanes

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Tuesday said the tax legislation Republicans are pushing in Congress will have worse consequences for Puerto Rico than the hurricanes that hit the island earlier this year.

“This would be a much more devastating blow to our economy than Irma and Maria put together,” Cruz said on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

Cruz noted that the tax proposal includes a 20 percent excise tax on goods imported from Puerto Rico to the mainland United States. That provision, she said, would destroy the island’s economy.


“[Our economy] is crippled already, this would obliterate it,” she said.

The San Juan mayor accused President Trump’s administration of failing to protect the U.S. territory from the possibility of a humanitarian crisis, while claiming that GOP lawmakers have repeatedly pledged they will fix the language in the bill but have failed to do so.

“The Republican Congress has promised, ‘We’re going change the language, we’re going to change the language.’ But nothing happens. And that hurts the credibility of the Trump administration — if they have any credibility at all at this point — in terms of the Puerto Rican humanitarian crisis,” she continued.

Cruz told Maddow the island needs three key things to help it completely recover: an eliminated debt, “tools for economic development,” and “more sustainable and more eco-friendly power.”

Cruz has publicly sparred with Trump over the administration’s hurricane response.

The GOP tax bill could come to the Senate floor for a vote as early as this week, after the legislation advanced out of the Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday.

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