Governor doesn’t believe Puerto Rico will be ‘held hostage’ in federal gov’t impasse
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares believes the island will not be held hostage in the controversy of President Donald John Trump and Democratic members of Congress over the budget and funds to build a border wall with Mexico.
“I think he’s holding the whole nation hostage. It’s in a phase where it doesn’t move and the government has closed. I don’t see that Puerto Rico is the main issue for that standoff, it’s the wall, “Rosselló Nevares said at a press conference.
“I’m concerned…with the actions that are going to be taken in the federal government. That is why I have been in direct communication with the members of Congress and the resident commissioner, Jenniffer González Colón, to make sure we can include several measures that are of benefit to Puerto Rico,” he added.
The Government of Puerto Rico is pushing for several measures such as the extension of $600 million of the Nutritional Assistance Plan (PAN by its Spanish acronym) and the extension of category A and B emergency work of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is also hoping for a multimillion-dollar outlay of recovery funds for the disaster caused by Hurricane Maria. According to media reports, Trump intended to stop the transfer of assigned funds.
Rosselló also said that in case the impasse continues, there are funds that can be used provisionally to pay for PAN starting in February.
“But I think we should not be considering or thinking that this [partial government closure] will go on for a long time because the damage to the United States is enormous and I trust that reason is going to prevail, we are going to find a way for people to have their services,” he said.
Trump was slated to deliver a message Tuesday night about the situation with the Mexican border.