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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Cantwell, Murray ask Trump to step up aid for Puerto Rico

By Katy Sword, Columbian politics reporter
Published: September 27, 2017, 9:20pm

U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, D-Wash., joined 35 senators in asking President Donald Trump for strong and decisive leadership as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

“In the words of Gov. Ricardo Rossello, the people of Puerto Rico have been ‘essentially devastated,’ ” the letter to Trump reads. “The U.S. Virgin Islands has also suffered catastrophic damage. While they slowly begin their recovery, more help is needed.”

Cantwell, Murray and the 35 other senators who signed outline eight actions they feel Trump should undertake.

The list includes issuing a full disaster declaration for Puerto Rico, requesting more funding for the country’s Medicaid program and sending additional Department of Defense assets, appointing a special assistant for rebuilding to coordinate efforts and using all federal resources to help restore power to the island.

The senators also ask Trump to waive the local cost-share requirement for FEMA public assistance disaster funding while ensuring that FEMA, the Coast Guard and Defense work together to restore Puerto Rico’s ports.

“We want the people of Puerto Rico to know that we will be with them at every step along this long road, ensuring their survival and robust recovery,” the letter reads. “It is the least we can do.”

Columbian politics reporter