Puerto Rico has gotten far much less assist than Trump has claimed, report reveals – NBC Information

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Could 14, 2019, 6:30 PM UTC

By Nicole Acevedo

President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that his administration has given Puerto Rico $91 billion in aid funds after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island in 2017. However a brand new report maintains that the island has obtained solely $12.6 billion.

In keeping with knowledge analyzed by Puerto Rico’s high analysis assume tank, the Heart for a New Financial system (CNE), the administration has allotted $42.three billion to the island by way of 17 totally different authorities businesses to fund particular packages.

That doesn’t imply Puerto Rico has obtained this quantity, nevertheless.

Allotted funds dwell in a separate world appropriations account till the federal government makes a legally liable dedication to make use of the cash. Practically half of the allotted funds — about $20.four billion — have been obligated towards catastrophe help packages and hurricane schooling restoration efforts, amongst different companies.

Solely $12.6 billion has been disbursed to Puerto Rico out of the overall quantity that was obligated. A few of that cash has been used to fund the work of the Military Corps of Engineers on the island and to supply catastrophe loans for hurricane-stricken small companies, amongst different efforts, in accordance with the FEMA Restoration Help web site.

“A part of the confusion we now have witnessed just lately is because of the truth that totally different events both incorrectly use these ideas interchangeably or use essentially the most handy one to additional their ideological or political agenda,” authors Sergio Marxuach, the middle’s public coverage director, and Rosanna Torres, its director, wrote within the report, which was launched Monday.

The $91 billion that Trump repeatedly tweets about and brings up at his 2020 presidential marketing campaign rallies is an estimate of the quantity that might be allotted to Puerto Rico over the subsequent 20 years.

The estimate is predicated on the overall quantity of damages Puerto Rico suffered throughout Hurricane Maria, which have been estimated at $90 billion, making it the third-costliest hurricane in america on file.

A minimum of 2,975 folks died because of the hurricane, making it the deadliest U.S.-based pure catastrophe in 100 years.

One in all Trump’s speaking factors at his marketing campaign rallies is evaluating how a lot assist Puerto Rico has obtained versus Florida and Texas, which have been additionally laid low with hurricanes in 2017. Trump says that each states have obtained far lower than Puerto Rico.

In keeping with current numbers, the administration has not offered hurricane ravaged areas with assist that’s correlated to the magnitude of the storms’ losses.

Hurricane Irma, which ravaged Puerto Rico earlier than making landfall in Florida, brought on $50 billion in damages and killed at the very least 123 folks within the state. The Trump administration responded by allocating a bit of over $eight billion. Florida has obtained almost half of that cash, knowledge from the FEMA Restoration Help web site reveals.

Texas incurred roughly $125 billion in damages after Hurricane Harvey killed about 106 folks. The Trump administration has allotted almost $26 billion to the state, a couple of fourth of which has really been disbursed, in accordance with FEMA Restoration Help’s knowledge.

The Home handed a invoice on Friday offering $17.2 billion in aid and restoration help for areas affected by all three hurricanes, in addition to current floods within the Midwest and tornadoes within the South. There are at present no formal plans to take it up within the Senate, however some Senate aides mentioned they hope the invoice will get voted on someday earlier than Memorial Day recess.

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Nicole Acevedo

Nicole Acevedo is a employees reporter at NBC Information Digital the place she stories, writes and produces content material for NBC Latino.

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