Puerto Rico senator urges military intervention, Marshall Plan for storm recovery
SAN JUAN – To combine all necessary elements for the island’s recovery from Hurricane María, Puerto Rico Sen. Larry Seilhamer has urged the U.S. government to enact a Marshall Plan for the island and accept the requests for federal funds by the local government and the Financial Oversight & Management Board.
The legislator made the request via letters addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, as well as to President Donald Trump.
“It is necessary to recognize the titanic action and management of the governor, state and federal agencies, local communities, as well as the island’s civil society, who have put heart and soul after the onslaught of Hurricane María. But the devastation transcends those efforts and requires more help, greater military presence and assistance,” the senator declared in a press release.
Seilhamer specified 14 critical points that require urgent attention 21 days after the Category-4 hurricane: communications, ground transportation, structural damages, electrical systems, water distribution system, vegetation, domestic solid waste, accumulation of corpses, public health dangers, agriculture, tourism, economy, healthcare, and the government’s fiscal condition.
“We are at the brink of a humanitarian crisis, and despite state, federal and private efforts, the recovery remains slow. To prevent more damage and loss of life, it is urgent to speed up recovery,” the senator stressed.
“In order to rebuild Puerto Rico, aggressive and meaningful funding is needed, such as the measures that were implemented in the past with a Marshall Plan or the approval of a Congressional disbursement of emergency funds, as recommended and requested by the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, the resident commissioner, Jenniffer González, and the chairman of the oversight board, José Carrión, since the estimated damages to the Island reach $90 billion,” he added.