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Failure To Pass Disaster Aid Package Intensifies Devastation

Dec. 24, 2017 (EIRNS)—The failure of the U.S. Congress to pass a Disaster Aid Package, will have serious consequences, some of which will literally mean life or death, for millions of citizens in Texas, Florida, and especially Puerto Rico.

On Dec. 22, the House of Representatives passed a $81 billion Disaster Relief Package, on a bipartisan basis by a vote of 251 to 169. But the Senate has taken no action. The House bill included $27.6 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $26.1 billion for Community Development Block Grants, and $12.11 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers. An important portion of the proposed allocations for Community Development Block Grants, and the Army Corps, were for public works-infrastructure.

The bill may not be taken up again until mid-January.

On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria’s 155 mph winds buzz-sawed through Puerto Rico. On Dec. 11, Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo advanced a sound long-term $17.8 billion power plan, entitled "Build Back Better" that would not merely replace, but build a vastly superior electricity grid/power system.

Without such fundamental change, Puerto Rico has experienced the loss of 1.248 billion customer-hours of electricity, according to research published by the Rhodium Group. This constitutes the largest blackout in United States history, whether from hurricane, other natural disaster, or human error.

This is producing emigration under duress. More than 10,000 Puerto Rican children have enrolled in the Florida school system during the past three months, which would suggest their parents went with them, reports the Dec. 23 Vox. The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at the City University of New York estimates that Puerto Rico will lose up to 470,355 residents by the end of 2019, approximately 14% of the population.

The need for LaRouche’s Four Laws, providing the Hamiltonian directed credit system to finance the Build Back Better plan, is intensely urgent.