According to AP News, Puerto Ricans are struggling to buy food and medicine as they continue to recover from Hurricane Maria. They have pleaded to Congress to take action as insufficient federal funds given for their recovery dwindle.
Puerto Rico is now recovering from a Category 4 storm on top of a 12 year recession. Congress gave a $1.27 billion to Puerto Rico after the storm, but as the money has begun to run out, the Puerto Rican government has started to cut benefits.
The food stamp funds allow the Puerto Rican government to assist an additional 279,000 people who were not covered. It also increases the benefits of those who were already enrolled. Governor Ricardo Rossello asked Congress to give the program another $600 million, but it is unclear if this will happen. While the House has passed a bill authorizing that amount, the bill is now in the Senate.
Trump supports the $600 million infusion, although he initially called the aid “excessive and unnecessary.” Still, he is opposed to more generous disaster aid funds.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Trump for not helping more.
“Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover,” Schumer said. “What the president is doing is unacceptable, and un-American. I urge my Republican colleagues to ... help us pass a disaster package that addresses the needs, not of some, but of all disaster survivors.”