Trump Lifts Hold for Puerto Rican Aid
There has been a hold on over $8 billion for aid to Puerto Rico. The disaster mitigation money is finally being released by the Trump administration once the grant agreement is outlined to determine how the money can be used.
Due to some of the political unrest occurring on the island, with multiple people not wanting to come forward to govern Puerto Rico, HUD was holding onto the funds to ensure that there were financial safeguards in place.
The funding notice was supposed to be published in September. Now that there is a full financial monitoring team in place, they can move forward with confidence. A HUD official has said that the disaster recovery funds can be released so that those who need it can begin to use it.
Puerto Rico suffered significant losses from two hurricanes in 2017. They have received $1.5 billion already, though there’s a total of $20 million that Congress has authorized for disaster funds. Lawmakers and commonwealth officials have been upset by the delay.
When the news came forward on Tuesday that the hold has been lifted, Jenniffer Gonzalez, the Resource Commissioner of Puerto Rico, cheered. She said that she’s happy that the notification has been approved since they’ve been fighting for months. She also mentioned that she spoke to Trump directly about the issue on Friday.
Multiple earthquakes have hit the island in recent weeks, so Gonzalez says that they need the money now more than ever.
Democrats recently applied pressure on the White House for the money to be released, especially in the wake of the earthquakes. Nancy Pelosi even called on officials to “cease and desist” the illegal activity. Unfortunately, Pelosi wouldn’t know illegal if she stepped in it. Holding onto funds to ensure that it is properly appropriated and to ensure that there are financial safeguards in place is not illegal. It makes sense, particularly with what the island has gone through.
With hurricane damage still evident around the island and then being hit by a 5.9-magnitude earthquake, it’s easy to see that Puerto Rico is in need of serious financial help. When sending over billions, however, it’s important that the money is properly allocated.
While the country works to get things back to normal for its citizens, they will be barred from providing the $15 an hour minimum wage on federally funded projects.
The money cannot be used on the electrical grid, either. The reason for this is a simple one: there’s another tranche of money that is specifically allocated to the electrical systems. It is much needed, too, as there are rolling blackouts that have been taking place since the earthquakes hit.
A significant amount of the money will go to recovery efforts, including helping the various camps to be set up for those who have lost their homes either due to the hurricanes or the earthquakes. Trump has already approved the island’s request for being declared a state of emergency, too, which will make it possible to get additional federal funding.
To show just how much the Dems don’t like having to account for money that is given to them, Ben Carson and countless others felt as though the money should have been handed over, regardless of the alleged corruption of fiscal irregularities. So, if it were up to the Dems, they would simply allow Puerto Rico to get their hands on billions of dollars regardless of whether there was corruption or not. Then, when the money went missing without anything getting fixed, they would blame the Trump administration for releasing the money without some kind of financial safeguard in place.
Luckily, the Trump administration has learned. They know the games that the Dems are playing and have seen through it. So, yes, there are some considerable restrictions in place as to how the money can be spent. However, the money has been released so that Puerto Rico can begin helping the millions of people who have been affected by the hurricanes and the earthquakes. With the help of the commissioner and others, the island should be well on its way to seeing significant improvements over the next few months.
Now that the island has been identified as a state of emergency, it is likely to receive even more funding than what was initially allocated. This should keep the island in good financial condition while keeping the Dems pacified at the same time. The only thing that people need to do now is to pray that there isn’t another earthquake or any more corruption from the government.