WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress decided to postpone discussion on a disaster aid package until May as they get ready to leave for a two-week recess, meaning that 1.3 million U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico and other territories will not be receiving needed nutritional and other critical federal assistance.
Power 4 Puerto Rico Director Erica González issued the following statement:
“Nutritional assistance and resiliency support are a matter of life and death for so many Puerto Ricans on the island. Congress should have already passed a desperately-needed disaster aid package instead of delaying action. Power 4 Puerto Rico strongly urges Senate Democrats to continue to hold the line for both Puerto Rico and other disaster-stricken areas and reject the President’s attempts to pressure Congress to pit communities in need against each other. Contrary to what Trump preaches, our country shouldn’t throw its citizens under the bus because of his political pettiness and when millions of lives are at stake.”
The wait is too long:
As news outlets have reported, the people of Vieques —a Puerto Rican municipality that has to rely on infrequent ferry service and that suffered severe contamination from 60 years of U.S. Navy bombing practices— are still left without a functioning and safe hospital, as they struggle with a 25% cutback to food stamp benefits. In fact, one elderly Puerto Rican told the New York Times this week that she spent two days without eating. It is shameful that this is happening in the wealthiest and most advanced country in the world, where the human rights of all people should be respected and protected.