Puerto Rican governor slams government; says aid inadequate
Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Friday slammed the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria, saying residents of the island, who are U.S. citizens, are being treated like ``secondclass citizens.’’ Rossello and other critics have complained that the federal aid given to Puerto Rico after its worst natural disaster has not been equal to that given to Florida, Texas and California after similar disasters. ``One hundred years of U.S. citizenship, but not quite equal,’’ Rossello lamented during a news conference in Orlando on Friday.
The Puerto Rican governor is pushing for a supplemental disaster-aid package and relief from the federal taxreform bill. He urged federal lawmakers to grant the country supplemental Medicaid funding and to eliminate the cost-sharing requirements, which he said was done in Louisiana. He acknowledged that Puerto Rico is competing with Florida, Texas and California for the funds.
``It is completely unacceptable, it is inhumane and you have to ask yourself if this would happen in any other state. The answer is no. The reality is this would only happen in Puerto Rico because we are treated as second-class citizens,’’ he said, denouncing Republicans who oppose additional emergency funding because they say it would increase the national debt.