Puerto Rico

Trump Threatens to Abandon Puerto Rico Recovery

President Trump “served notice that he may pull back federal workers from Puerto Rico, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” the Washington Post reports.

“More than three weeks after Maria, more than 80 percent of the island is still without power. Just 63 percent of the island’s residents have access to clean drinking water, and only 60 percent of wastewater treatment plants are operating, according to FEMA.”

Exodus From Puerto Rico Could Remake Florida Politics

New York Times: “Every day dozens of Puerto Ricans pour into the Orlando area, fleeing their homes and lives ravaged by Hurricane Maria. In the months to come, officials here said, that number could surge to more than 100,000. And those numbers could remake politics in Florida, a state where the last two presidential and governor’s races were decided by roughly one percentage point or less.”

“There are more than a million Puerto Ricans in Florida, a number that has doubled since 2001, driven largely until now by a faltering economy. But their political powers have evolved slowly in this state, and the wave of potential voters from the island could quickly change that calculus.”

Trump’s ‘Heckuva Job’ Moment

Rick Klein: “The first two storms, it appears, were only wind-ups to the presidential moment that presents itself now. The crisis in Puerto Rico figures to define President Trump’s responses to this remarkable string of powerful storms. After first seeming to blame Puerto Rico’s poor infrastructure and fiscal crises, Trump is now praising FEMA and expressing his wish that the ‘press would treat fairly.’ But this is one where claims of ‘fake news’ will likely be subsumed by the images and realities.”

“Those realities include millions of American citizens in total crisis. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is warning that the lack of ‘clear command, control and communication’ will cause the situation to ‘deteriorate rapidly.’ The general who oversaw the federal response to Hurricane Katrina is calling the situation – yes – ‘like Katrina.'”