The ratification signature of President Donald Trump is the last step that is needed for Puerto Rico to finally receive an additional 1,000 million dollars to cover the recovery of Hurricane Maria, which shook the island in September 2017.
The legislation that includes this departure for Puerto Rico was today sent to the White House by the Speaker of the Lower House, the Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who lamented the “obstruction” of the Republicans when approving the law in the Legislative.
“After months of obstruction by Republicans in Congress, we can finally send aid to communities across the country,” Pelosi said before signing the legislation at an event at the Capitol.
The bill, which was approved in the House of Representatives on Monday with 354 votes in favor and 58 against (all of them Republicans), authorizes the disbursement of a package of aid amounting in total to 19,100 million dollars.
The Senate had already approved the legislative proposal in mid-May with a broad consensus between both parties, although nine Republican senators voted against it.
The legislation finally has the support of the White House, so Trump is expected to sign it soon, despite not having an amendment he had requested to provide more money to protect the southern border of the country.
On Tuesday, the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, asked Trump to sign “as soon as possible” this law and showed his satisfaction for the fact that the measure went ahead.
“The United States Congress approved a supplemental bill for disasters that is essential for the recovery of Puerto Rico and other states of the nation.” This process has been difficult, but, as governor, I am pleased that the well-being of our country has prevailed. US citizens across the country, “Rossello said in a statement.
“We have fought an arduous battle for those affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico,” the governor added.
Finally, he asked Trump “to sign this bill as soon as possible” so that Puerto Ricans “can recover properly.”
Specifically, the package will provide close to 1,000 million aid for Puerto Rico, including 600 million in emergency funds for the food stamp program and more than 300 million for infrastructure repairs.
It also includes recovery funds for the states of California, Florida and other regions affected by natural disasters in recent years.
Despite being legislation that had the backing of Republicans and Democrats, the package of aid was stalled in the Upper House for months by the demands of Trump.
In the lower house, the Democrats tried to pass the law unanimously three times, but a Republican legislator opposed each time.
A few weeks ago, Trump argued that Puerto Rico had mismanaged the “extensive” aid it has received after the devastation caused in 2017 by Hurricane Maria and criticized that smaller amounts have been assigned to other areas of the country that have also been affected.
A study commissioned by the authorities of Puerto Rico published last August raised to 2,975 people the number of deaths between September 2017 and February 2018 as a result of Hurricane Maria, although, according to other calculations, exceeded 3,000.
That figure makes Hurricane Maria one of the worst tragedies of a natural disaster in history, well above the 1,880 deaths in New Orleans by Katrina. (EFEUSA) .-