We cannot leave our fellow U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico in the dark

It has been three months since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico. And after all this time 1 in 3 Puerto Ricans are still living without electrical power.

As we gear up for the holidays we must remember that our fellow U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are preparing for Christmas in darkness. And they need our help.

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The situation in Puerto Rico is still dire. Those who do have running water are still advised to boil it before using, while thousands are still living in shelters. The death toll, as reported by various sources, exceeds 1,000.

Last month Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello requested $94 billion to rebuild the island. Meanwhile the U.S. House of Representative today passed an $81 billion disaster relief package.

But this amount is woefully inadequate for Puerto Rico’s needs. That’s because it will be split among Florida, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and western states affected by wildfires.

And that package still won’t address other dire needs in Puerto Rico in the areas of health care, its social service sector, and its workforce.

Puerto Rico relief

Call your representative today at (202) 224-3121. Tell them to step up and provide the full emergency funding Puerto Rico needs NOW.

Puerto Rico should not be treated any differently than any other state. And the island must be provided with the level of resources they need and are requesting. This is what we would expect our government to do for any other state or U.S. jurisdiction.

The House disaster aid package falls painfully short of addressing Puerto Rico’s humanitarian crisis. Simply put, Congress must do better.

It’s time for Congress to act quickly and ensure that the 3.4 million U.S. citizens on the island are treated equitably and get the assistance they need to recover and rebuild.

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