While most of us sat down to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families, countless Americans in Puerto Rico were still going without power or running water.1
- Tackling the immediate humanitarian crisis. The bill would remove logistical obstacles to providing the help needed now and help the farms and local food producers that were obliterated in the storm. It would also clean up the environmental risks created by the storm, make health care cheaper and more available to Americans in Puerto Rico, and ensure that federal aid does not put Puerto Rico any further in debt.
- Banning privatization and promoting debt relief. Sanders’ plan would put control over the future of Puerto Rico in the hands of the people there, not Wall Street hedge funds and bank-backed control boards that demand austerity measures. It would prevent using the disaster as an excuse to privatize the electrical grid, water utilities and roads in order to profit from these once-public goods and push for full debt relief.
- Rebuilding better. Under Sanders’ bill, the Puerto Rican power grid would be modernized and eventually draw 70 percent of its power from renewable sources. The plan also calls for a massive investment in VA hospitals and clinics; public schools, colleges and childcare centers; and infrastructure from roads and bridges to schools, public transit, clean water sources and broadband.
- David Caplan and Joshua Hoyos, “As Puerto Rico continues to recover from Maria, many residents turn to charities for a Thanksgiving meal,” ABC News, Nov. 24, 2017.
- Jeff Stein, “Bernie Sanders to unveil a $146 billion ‘Marshall Plan’ for Puerto Rico,” The Washington Post, Nov. 28, 2017.
- Alexia Fernandez Campbell, “Trump to Puerto Rico: your hurricane isn’t a ‘real catastrophe’ like Katrina,” Vox, Oct. 3, 2017.
- Office of Sen. Bernie Sanders, "Sanders, Colleagues Unveil Legislation to Rebuild Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands," Nov. 28, 2017.
- Juan Gonzalez, “Puerto Rico’s $123 billion bankruptcy is the cost of U.S. colonialism,” The Intercept, May 9, 2017.