January 24 2018

Trump authorizes 10-day Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico

January 24 2018, 01:49 | Van Peters

Image antoine gyori Corbis via Getty Images

Image antoine gyori  Corbis via Getty Images

The phones have been down, along with most internet service. "Food and water on site", Trump tweeted early in the day. "Every single town has been affected in some way". As Hurricane Maria swept through the island, it has caused significant damage to its infrastructure including its roads.

"These emergency waivers have been valuable to speed up recovery efforts in the impacted regions", Sen. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Puerto Ricans don't have power, and many haven't had power since Hurricane Irma hit the island three weeks ago. And almost half of the population doesn't have access to clean drinking water.

Rossello has strongly defended the Republican president's response.

Pressure on Trump to waive the law had been increasing since reports of Puerto Rico's devastation began gaining traction. Right now we have enough fuel. "We are unloading, on an hourly basis, massive loads of water and food and supplies for Puerto Rico". The National Guard has deployed more than 2,300 guardsmen to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well.

Trump commented on the situation on Wednesday after returning from Indiana.

"It definitely does create some logistical challenges", Montano says.

She says the lines for gas stretch for hours and then sometimes residents will get to the pumps and are told there is no gas. The D.C. police union contacted the superintendent of Puerto Rico's state police force, who said the help of D.C. police officers is needed and would be most welcome. Puerto Rico's governor and other United States officials had argued that a waiver would expedite supplies to the island.

"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and his father, Luis Miranda, made a passionate plea for help for the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico.

"We seem to be losing a lot of time in jurisdictional trifles", San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said in an interview Wednesday.

She also called on Congress to quickly consider a relief package of about $50 billion to $70 billion and said the seven-member fiscal control board overseeing Puerto Rico must reconsider its debt payment plan for the island as a result of the storm.

Meanwhile, 91% of cellular communication sites remain out of service, U.S. officials say. "But the chain of command needs to work a little faster". Shortly after 8 a.m. Thomas Bossert, assistant to the President for homeland security, wrote on Twitter that Trump "waived immediately upon request" and that DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency sought "seamless fuel delivery" to the island. "The initial demo was me singing in a bathroom", he said. "It's the most hard job because it's on an island in the middle of the ocean". Velasquez asked. "No one has knocked on my door and said, 'Here is some rice'".

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