Thursday, October 12, 2017

ACT: Trump attacks Puerto Rico as House votes on disaster relief

Let your Congressperson know you are paying attention to today’s vote and expect them to do much more in the days and months ahead:
  • The situation in Puerto Rico is dire — millions of American citizens are at risk of starvation and death
  • The total amount of the disaster bill is far too low—the survivors of in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the survivors of the Western wildfires need much more help
  • Instead of increasing Puerto Rico’s debt by $5 billion, Congress should be eliminating all of its debt
  • There must be relentless oversight of the Trump administration’s response to these crises
  • The fossil-fuel industry must be held accountable for its deliberate profit from climate pollution
Here are the details of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017:
  • $13.58 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund, to be shared by all the hurricane survivors (including Texas and Florida) as determined by the Department of Homeland Security
  • $4.9 billion for the FEMA disaster relief fund as a loan to Puerto Rico
  • $150 million loan to Puerto Rico to cover matching funds for FEMA grants
  • $1.27 billion grant to Puerto Rico for disaster nutrition assistance
  • $576.5 million in U.S. Forest Service and Department of Interior grants for wildfire suppression and management
  • $16 billion to cancel National Flood Insurance Program debt
In Texas, survivors are still grappling with exposure to millions of pounds of toxic chemicals spewed into the air and water from flooded oil facilities. The neighborhoods closest to the plants are overwhelmingly low-income people of color.
The official death toll of the California fires has reached 23, with 20,000 evacuees fleeing these fires fueled by decades of greenhouse pollution. Hundreds of people are missing. About 30 percent of the firefighters battling the blazes are prisoners, paid $2 an hour to risk their lives.

The official death toll in Puerto Rico has reached 45, but independent reporting has uncovered hundreds more dead, exposing what can only be described as deliberate undercounting and even cover-up by government officials. Communities desperate for water are drawing from toxic wells in Superfund sites.

The 3.4 million American citizens of Puerto Rico have no vote in Congress. They are working to survive, recover, and rebuild. Today, we can take a minute to be their voice.

- Brad
Climate hawks
Text of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017
Puerto Rico Relief Bill Cancels $16 Billion in Debt — But Not for Puerto Rico,The Intercept
Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens To Pull Emergency Responders, NBC News
House to vote Thursday on $36.5 billion disaster aid bill, CNN
The official death toll in Puerto Rico is 45, but actual deaths are in the hundreds, Vox
As Puerto Rico Struggles With Lack Of Drinking Water, Residents Turn To Toxic Waste Sites, Essence
30 Percent of California’s Forest Firefighters Are Prisoners, Mother Jones
Failures of floating-roof oil tanks during Harvey raise concerns, Houston Chronicle

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