Gutiérrez to Trump: Puerto Rico Rescue and Recovery Should Begin Immediately

Sep 20, 2017
1:18 PM

The following is a Wednesday letter than Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) sent to President Trump about the urgent need for the federal government to provide immediate help to Puerto Rico, which has been hit hard by Hurricane Maria.

Here is a part of what the letter stated:

Puerto Rico is particularly vulnerable. Hurricane Maria is barreling over Puerto Rico two weeks after it was hit by Hurricane Irma which caused over $1 billion in damage. Puerto Ricans have already been reeling from power outages, lack of potable water and a shortage of basic resources. Obviously, the first order of business is search and rescue, saving lives, reopening airports and seaports for critical supplies and to ensure that the Puerto Rican people have shelter, clean water and food.

In addition, the dire needs facing Puerto Ricans in the coming days and weeks cannot be overstated. The Island has suffered for more than 10 years under a recession and is in the midst of a severe financial crisis, crushing debt, high unemployment and unprecedented out-migration. The fiscal control board imposed on Puerto Rico by the U.S. Congress has already slashed the public budget, imposed extreme austerity measures and is powerless to invest in the economy, create jobs and promote growth. This means that Puerto Rico is broke and absolutely unable to financially contribute to its own recovery. Given this, I ask you to ensure that any cost sharing requirements that would normally be imposed on a state or territory under less dire circumstances be waived, as you are allowed to do under law.