Trump seeks $13 billion in funding after María
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R) of Puerto Rico announced that, late this afternoon, the Trump Administration asked the Congress to appropriate $12.77 billion to, in the words of the Director of the President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), ”fund additional response and initial recovery needs in the wake of hurricanes that have catastrophically affected the lives of Americans living in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Florida, and Texas.”
González-Colón said that OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, who accompanied the President to Puerto Rico yesterday, wrote congressional leaders that the Federal government is spending close to $200 million a day for assistance for Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey.
“It is critical that the Congress provide the urgently needed resources . . . as expeditiously as possible,” Mulvaney wrote, also advising the Congress that the funding “should be provided on an emergency basis.”
The Resident Commissioner said that she expected “congressional action on this initial funding request after Hurricane Maria next week.”
Puerto Rico’s only representative in the Federal government also noted that Mulvaney reported, “Federal agencies are working diligently to collect the information that they need to generate thorough and well-justified cost estimates for the rebuilding efforts that will be required.” He added that this can take up to 90 days.
Gonzalez-Colon additionally disclosed that Mulvaney said that the Trump Administration will also “prioritize . . .estimates for longer-term needs” that will be submitted to the Congress in time to be considered in appropriations for the Federal fiscal year that began Sunday. Further appropriations for the year are expected during the first week of December
González-Colón said that she was “pleased that the Trump Administration is ‘putting money where its mouth is,’ adding that I have spoken with the President many times about Puerto Rico’s needs after Maria, and I have never doubted that he understands the extent of the problem, is focused on it, and is fully committed to helping Puerto Rico recover fully.”