Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee, led by Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Darren Soto (D-FL), called on Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) to hold hearings on the Trump administration’s mishandling of the response and recovery effort in Puerto Rico following Hurricane María. Their letter comes after the release last week of a Harvard study that determined the storm’s death total was 70 times higher than previously reported.
“This staggering loss of American life and the significant variance from officially-reported figures points to the need for further oversight,” the Members wrote. “With hurricane season now upon us, time is of the essence. It is imperative that our country learn from this trying experience and gather any lessons for future planning. Further, it is our responsibility to be honest about the shortcomings of the Trump Administration’s response to this disaster, provide answers to the Puerto Rican people, and take immediate steps to correct any outstanding inadequacies.”
“Make no mistake – these lives were lost in no small part due to the Trump administration’s gross negligence.”
Congressman Ruben Gallego
Rep. Gallego serves as the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs.
“The results of this study – and the fact that the actual death toll in Puerto Rico is nearly 70 times higher than the federal government is reporting – is shocking and horrifying,” stated Rep. Gallego.
“Make no mistake – these lives were lost in no small part due to the Trump administration’s gross negligence. The Trump administration’s failure to deliver timely and sufficient aid to United States citizens in Puerto Rico was an utterly careless decision with deadly consequences.
“The Trump administration must be held accountable for their abject failure to protect and assist our fellow Americans. Moving forward, all available resources should be provided to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to ensure that those living there have access to medical supplies, food, clean water and electricity, and no additional lives are put in jeopardy. Congress must also take immediate steps to ensure that the administration does not repeat these tragic errors as the 2018 hurricane season approaches.”