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Trump wants to take 'unnecessary' food away from Americans in Puerto Rico

‘This cruelty cannot stand,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

By Dan Desai Martin - January 18, 2019
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In a new low in Trump’s cruel desire to inflict more pain upon the American citizens in Puerto Rico, Trump is opposing funding for nutrition assistance to families on the devastated island.

In a letter to Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), chair of the Appropriations Committee, the White House calls $600 million for Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program, “excessive and unnecessary.” The callous statement was only the latest revelation about how little Trump cares for those living in Puerto Rico.

“President Trump grossly mismanaged the response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and since then he has added insult to injury by repeatedly trying to shortchange our fellow U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico,” Lowey said in a statement to Shareblue Media. “Our bill rights that injustice.”

Lowey is correct in her assessment of Trump. “Trump told then-White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and then-Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney that he did not want a single dollar going to Puerto Rico” last September, according to the Washington Post. Instead, Trump wanted to divert the funds to Texas and Florida. Trump, a former reality television show host and failed casino owner, had to be informed by staff that redirecting the money would be illegal.

Ever since disaster struck the island, Trump has shown a disdain that often crosses over into outright cruelty. In his trip to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the hurricane, Trump looked like an out-of-touch buffoon as he threw paper towels to a crowd of Puerto Ricans.

Later, he used racist tropes to denigrate the citizens of Puerto Rico, saying they “want everything to be done for them.” Trump regularly attacked the mayor of San Juan, even as the city was struggling to rebuild.

When information came to light that far more people died in the hurricane and aftermath than initially reported, Trump flat-out denied the truth, and then whined that he was not being given enough credit for the recovery effort.

As Trump showed the worst of what humanity could do, several heroes did their best to restore faith in humankind. Chef Jose Andres went to Puerto Rico and helped feed hundreds of thousands of people.

Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda resumed his title role in the smash musical “Hamilton” during a two-week run in Puerto Rico, with all the profits going to charities on the island.

Late-night television host Jimmy Fallon recently went to the island to film several episodes. When asked why he went, Fallon said, “I’m American, and we’ve got to step up, we’ve to help each other.”

Sadly, Fallon’s attitude is not shared by Trump, nor congressional Republicans who turned a blind eye after Hurricane Maria struck.

However, the new Democratic majority is determined to let those on the island know they are not forgotten. “Unlike Republican legislation that was brought up in December, House Democrats’ bill meets the urgent health care and nutrition needs of Americans in the territories, including Puerto Rico,” Lowey said.

“The suffering of our fellow Americans in #PuertoRico has been ignored far too long by the Trump Administration — and now the President will try to block important support for rebuilding efforts, including nutrition assistance for families,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tweeted. “This cruelty cannot stand,” she added.

Trump may try to prevent nutrition assistance to the American citizens determined to rebuild their homes, but Pelosi, congressional Democrats, and good-hearted people everywhere will prevail.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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