Lawmakers Urge FEMA To Reconsider Ending Food Aid For Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria

Florida lawmakers criticize FEMA decision to end food and water aid for Puerto Rico

Florida lawmakers are blasting FEMA's decision to "officially shut off" the emergency food and water aid provided to Puerto Rico in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria. "And on the other hand, the [Food and Drug Administration] is trying to convince pharmaceutical companies to leave Puerto Rico", she told Amanpour.

FEMA announced Tuesday that it would end its efforts to help the USA territory recover, and transfer remaining supplies over to the Puerto Rican government for distribution beginning January 31.

FEMA officials announced they will officially end the mission on Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged solidarity with Americans recovering from natural disasters, including those in Puerto Rico ― the US territory his administration has ignored, insulted and ultimately abandoned in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria's devastation. Marco Rubio, who also represents Florida, who pointed out many in America have misconceptions about Puerto Rico, which may compound the problem. In a bipartisan letter signed by U.S. Sens. "Many Puerto Rican localities still face significant challenges accessing basic needs, and FEMA has played a critical role in ensuring Puerto Ricans across the island are receiving these goods and services. He already has things mapped out and Puerto Rico certainly doesn't have any consideration in that plan", a resident told BuzzFeed News.

On Tuesday, CNN reported the federal agency would pull the plug on its food and water shipments to the devastated island beginning Wednesday. "So we need to create a balance". "Half a million homes are totally disrupted, either need to be rebuilt completely or need to have their roof put back on", she said of the damage from hurricanes Irma and Maria, which left more than 3 million Puerto Ricans in need of assistance.

"FEMA will continue to support the government of Puerto Rico to meet the needs they identify".

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A US federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by some of Puerto Rico's bondholders, who had argued that the USA territory broke the law by defaulting on constitutionally-guaranteed debt despite having the money to make payments.

This week's sudden turnabout suggests bipartisan political pressure still works - especially when it is wielded by members from Florida, the nation's biggest presidential battleground state. As Soto pointed out, "American lives are at stake!"

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