Trump team finally releases billions in hurricane relief for Puerto Rico — with major strings attached

Trump team finally releases billions in hurricane relief for Puerto Rico — with major strings attached
U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service agents provide disaster relief supplies, food rations and water to victims of Hurricane Maria at Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Thursday, Sept. 28th, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Flores.) 

by Hunter

Donald Trump and his team have continued to withhold disaster relief funds from Puerto Rico for the hurricanes that hit the island in 2017, and a series of recent earthquakes that have further damaged homes and infrastructure. Trump has continued to express contempt for the American territory as well, claiming "corruption" as the reason for his instructions that Puerto Rico aid be delayed, reduced, or simply blocked outright.

The good news is that finally, at long last, the administration has been pressured into releasing $16 billion of $20 billion allocated by Congress for hurricane recovery. The bad news is that, yep: Again, Trump's team of white nationalists and government saboteurs are attaching their own conditions to the aid, conditions so onerous as to apparently be intended as further sabotage of the disaster recovery effort.

Among the supposed anti-"corruption" measures are a prohibition against paying the Puerto Rico minimum wage, $15 an hour, on the projects the federal money funds. The money also can't be used for the island's electrical grid—even though the money that was separately allocated for the electrical grid also is being held up by Team Trump. And the whole recovery effort will be supervised by the federal "fiscal control board" that the administration insists is an anti-corruption measure but Puerto Ricans themselves see as yet another thumb in the eye.

So it appears that even after Trump's team ran out of reasons to stall giving the same allocated disaster aid to Puerto Rico that Trump-supporting places like Texas got almost immediately, Donald's team is continuing to make sure the money is spent at as slow a pace as possible, and with as many restrictions as possible. The reasons for these acts can only be speculated on but are not, in the slightest, hard to imagine.


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