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September 27, 2017

Thompson: Federal Response in Puerto Rico Woefully Inadequate

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the current situation and federal response in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricanes Irma and Maria:

“It is painfully clear that the devastation in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands point to a woefully inadequate federal response after the islands received direct hits from two major hurricanes.  If not immediately addressed, the unfolding humanitarian crisis will inflict more lasting damage to the islands. This lack of action shows that the President and his Administration have yet to comprehend the gravity and impact of what is happening on our own soil. Having lived through Hurricane Katrina, I recognize the President’s obvious lack of direction and attention--and I now fear we could see history repeating itself.”

“Instead of blaming the Puerto Rican people for the situation they are in, congratulating himself for a job well done, and obsessing over NFL politics, we need the President in the situation room coordinating an efficient response and requesting emergency relief from Congress.  Instead of having Congressional Republicans on a retreat to announce tax cuts for the rich, we need a working Congress ensuring emergency aid is available so the federal government has the resources it needs.  The President must realize what is unfolding under his watch. The lack of urgency from our government is putting human life at risk. Our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are suffering. They need help and they need it now.”

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978