From City Hall to Capitol Hill, New York lawmakers demanded swift action on Tuesday to respond to the deepening crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona hit the island, leaving millions in the dark.
Senator Chuck Schumer (DY) said he had spoken to the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Deanne Criswell, to urge her to spare no efforts to meet the needs of millions of Puerto Ricans suffering without electricity and others without drinking water.
“We are calling on the administrator to… hand over funding to Puerto Rico at this critical juncture,” said the powerful Democrat.
Calling Puerto Rico “the sixth district,” New York City Mayor Adams said he has already dispatched a team of crisis management experts to the affected island, where millions of New Yorkers trace their roots.
“As Hurricane Fiona leaves a path of destruction behind, our administration stands ready to provide all the support and assistance our brothers and sisters need,” said Adams.
Representative of Nydia Velazquez (DY), dean of the Puerto Rican club in Congress, said the crisis was entirely predictable as the needed changes had not been made after Hurricane Maria devastated the island five years ago.
“I said even (Category 1 hurricane). . . the power grid will collapse. And here we are – said Velazquez. “Today, 90% of Puerto Rico’s population is without electricity.”
Democrats want President Biden to show Puerto Ricans that he is better able to manage post-storm reconstruction than President Donald Trump for Maria when he infamously tossed paper towels to a crowd of desperate victims of the storm.
Deputy Hakeem Jeffries (DY), the No. 4 Democrat leader in the House of Representatives, called on the federal government to speed up aid to the island.
He swore that Congress would take action as needed.
“When we have greater visibility of the real needs … we will be able to respond comprehensively in both the humanitarian and necessary ways,” said Jeffries.
MEP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DY) forwarded a letter she and other lawmakers sent out last year demanding faster reforms to bolster Puerto Rico’s troubled electricity grid.
“The infrastructure failure this weekend was tragically predictable,” said the progressive brand.
“Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Just giving money is not enough. You need to build a reliable and sustainable network “- added representative Grace Meng (DY)
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