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Puerto Rico requests $94 billion from Congress for hurricane recovery

Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria

@alextdaugherty

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló unveiled a $94.3 billion disaster relief request to Congress on Monday, a massive sum that he said will help the U.S. territory adequately recover from Hurricane Maria.

Rosselló also promised that the island’s recovery effort will be the “most transparent” in U.S. history as the governor faces criticism over awarding a now-canceled $300 million contract to a small Montana-based power company to rebuild the nation’s electric grid. Over half of Puerto Rico is still without power 54 days after Hurricane Maria made landfall.

The largest chunk of Rosselló’s request, $31 billion, goes to housing assistance with $17.7 billion to rebuild the island’s power grid and $14.9 billion for health care.

“This is a critical step forward in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico where we’re not only looking to rebuild as was before but we want to make it much stronger and much more resilient and make Puerto Rico a model for the rest of the Caribbean,” Rosselló said.

The $94 billion request will likely be pared down by Congress and the Trump administration, as fiscally conservative Republicans will likely oppose such a massive long-term aid package as they did after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The package is over $30 billion more than a $61 billion relief request from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott after Hurricane Harvey flooded parts of metro Houston and East Texas.

Read more here.

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