Capitol Ink | Federal Disaster Relief Bill

Menendez, Gillibrand Call for Puerto Rico “Marshall Plan” on Hurricane Anniversary

Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez and Kirsten Gillibrand called for Congress to act to provide further assistance to Puerto Rico, criticizing President Donald Trump’s response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma one year after the disasters. 

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Pelosi, Dems Slam Trump Over Hurricane Response
A year after Maria and Irma, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands still need help, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the Trump administration has a moral obligation to do better than it has in its response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had long been planning to convene a press conference Friday to talk about the ongoing recovery needs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands a year after two hurricanes hit the American territories. She didn’t know President Donald Trump would fire off tweets Thursday accusing Democrats of inflating the hurricane’s death toll.

But the president choosing to “add salt to the wounds,” as Pelosi described it, only underscored her message that the federal response to Hurricane Maria has been woefully inadequate.  

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FEMA Tries New Approach for Hurricane Matthew
Clinton campaign forced to cancel Obama rally in Miami Gardens

Projected path of Hurricane Matthew. (National Hurricane Center)

Federal officials are placing personnel and equipment close to areas where heavy damage from Hurricane Matthew is expected, aiming to respond more quickly than in the wakes of past storms.

The Category 4 storm will soon move over the island of Cuba and head north, putting the Eastern Seaboard of the United States squarely in its path. Matthew, with its 145 mph winds and torrential rains, is already being compared to Hurricane Hazel in 1954.