Even as Puerto Rico continues to struggle in its recovery from a deadly hurricane that struck in 2017, Donald Trump reportedly said he doesn’t want a “single dollar” going to the island.
According to The Washington Post, “[A]t an Oval Office meeting on Feb. 22, Trump asked top advisers for ways to limit federal support from going to Puerto Rico, believing it is taking money that should be going to the mainland, according to senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of the president’s private remarks.”
“He doesn’t want another single dollar going to the island,” said a senior administration official, according to the report.
Trump’s refusal to send more money comes as Puerto Rico is fighting “a new crisis,” as reported by The Washington Post:
The Casa Ismael clinic is short on funds in part because of cuts in food stamps that hit about 1.3 million residents of Puerto Rico this month — a new crisis for an island still struggling from the effects of Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
Puerto Rico’s government first started cutting benefits for food-stamp beneficiaries by an average of 25 percent during the first week of March. By March 12, more than 670,000 people had received reduced monthly food-stamp payments. The cuts were in effect for the entire program by Friday.
Congressional lawmakers knew of the deadlines for months. In January, House Democrats approved $600 million in additional food-stamp funding to finance the program until the fall, but the bill immediately stalled in the Senate, with the Trump administration releasing a letter calling the additional food-stamp aid “excessive and unnecessary.”
Trump’s cruelty has no bounds
The fact that Donald Trump is seeking to withhold money from Puerto Rico as they continue to recover from Hurricane Maria is just the latest example of what a cruel and petty man he is.
Trump’s response to the 2017 hurricane in Puerto Rico was a disaster in itself that likely cost the lives of thousands of Americans on the island. Instead of acknowledging that failure and redoubling government efforts to help the people of Puerto Rico, he is doubling down on cruelty.
In other words, Donald Trump would rather make Puerto Rico suffer than admit that his response to the deadly storm was a massive failure.
While much of the media attention is appropriately on the Mueller report, it’s important to remember that Donald Trump is still a terrible president, regardless of what the special counsel found.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.