While the House may begin to advance the bill next week, the U.S. government's position is that such legislation is not necessary right now, a senior Trump administration official said yesterday.
For the Trump administration, the federal government already plans to allocate about $90 billion for recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María and "this is not the time to rush" to give new funds to the island.
The Trump administration believes that, through the major disaster declaration for 16 municipalities, it will be able to channel the assistance the island needs following this month's earthquakes. And they think Democrats are making a political move by pushing a new emergency spending legislation.
The chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Democrat Nita Lowey, introduced a bill a few days ago seeking to allocate $3.35 billion to Puerto Rico and use previous allocations aimed at mitigating the catastrophe caused by Hurricane María to assist with the emergency caused by the earthquakes, which have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and impacted hundreds of structures.
The Democratic legislation proposes that the Puerto Rico government receives $2 billion in funds from the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, $1.25 billion for road repairs and $100 million for education-related needs.
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González, who caucuses with Republicans, supported the Democratic bill and asked to include emergency food assistance funds in that legislation.