‘Unconscionable’: As Puerto Rico Suffers Earthquake Aftermath, AOC, Sanders, and Velazquez Demand Trump End Illegal Hold on Relief Funds

Washington Post / YouTube Watch the devastation caused by the 1579020990.jpg...
Washington Post / YouTube

In an effort to put a stop to what they argue is the “illegal” and “unconscionable” withholding of necessary and vital aid to the people of Puerto Rico, New York Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nydia Velázquez joined with Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday in demanding President Donald Trump immediately transfer already approved federal disaster assistance to address the island territory’s “urgent humanitarian needs” following  recent earthquakes and aftershocks.

In a letter (pdf) sent to the Trump administration, the lawmakers cited a nation still reeling from the destruction left by Hurricane Maria over two years ago and said there was no excuse to deny Puerto Ricans the help they so desperately need. The letter called on Trump to immediately approve a major disaster declaration submitted by the Puerto Rican government on January 12; to release aid money previously approved by Congress for humanitarian relief; and to direct FEMA to undertake an urgent response to the ongoing disaster.

“Let us be clear: Postponing the disbursement of this vital assistance any longer—in the face of the humanitarian needs of Puerto Rico—is simply shameful,” the letter states.

The new letter follows a similar effort last week by House Democrats who urged Trump to release more than $18 billion in aid that was approved for the island following the 2017 devastation caused by Maria.

“We call upon the White House to stop its unlawful withholding of funds from Puerto Rico,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference Thursday. “There are needs that need to be met, there has been a disaster designated, but the ongoing withholding of funds appropriated by Congress to Puerto Rico is illegal.”

“The hurricane devastated the island and today, tens of thousands of people are still living under tarp roofs,” Velázquez, Ocasio-Cortez, and Sanders wrote in their new letter to Trump. “In recent days, the quakes have cost millions in damages, destroyed hundreds of homes, caused widespread electricity blackouts, and forced residents to resort to sleeping in roofless shelters due to the fear of being buried in their own homes by another earthquake.”

Highlighting the effort of the lawmakers on social media, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of Puerto Rico’s capital city San Juan—who serves as national co-chair for Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign—said, “Sanders has been consistent in making sure the people of Puerto Rico are treated with dignity. In fact, Bernie Sanders has been consistent in making sure ALL people are treated with dignity.”

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

3 Comments on "‘Unconscionable’: As Puerto Rico Suffers Earthquake Aftermath, AOC, Sanders, and Velazquez Demand Trump End Illegal Hold on Relief Funds"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Rutokin
Guest
Rutokin

Here we go again, trumplstiltskin illegally withholding funding for P R is disgustingly despicable. Why does he continue to want those people to suffer? I bet him and rent my forehead miller get off on the dastardly things that they are hurting the PR and boarder people. If you’re not white you’re not right

David
Guest
David

Why did he separate families and put kids in cages?

David
Guest
David

Trump is a racist. Period.