Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Pingree Supports House Disaster Relief Package, Blasts Trump for Threatening to Abandon Puerto Rico

Oct 12, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) today voted in support of a $36.5 billion House package to provide disaster relief to communities affected by recent hurricanes and wildfires, while criticizing President Trump for his tweets on Puerto Rico. 
 
“Whether it’s because of wildfires in California, or hurricanes in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, Americans who are suffering in the wake of these horrific disasters need to know that we will not leave them behind,” Pingree said.  “I’m glad to support this relief package to make sure these communities have the resources they need right now.” 
 
The relief package contained: 

  • $18.67 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund 
  • $16 billion for cancellation of debt incurred by the National Flood Insurance Program 
  • $1.27 billion for disaster nutrition assistance in Puerto Rico through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • $576.5 million for wildland fire suppression, including:
    • $184.5 million for the U.S. Forest Service for firefighting operations; 
    • $342 million for the FLAME Wildfire Suppression Reserve Fund and to replenish Department of Agriculture accounts from which funding had been transferred to meet urgent firefighting obligations;
    • $50 million for wildland suppression at the Department of the Interior and to repay transfers needed for these costs.

Pingree went on to criticize President Trump, who earlier today threatened to pull federal disaster responders out of Puerto Rico though the U.S. territory is still under dire circumstances. 
 
“President Trump still doesn’t get it. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens who deserve all the resources they need to recover and rebuild—they don’t need him to pour salt in their wounds,” Pingree said. “Our country’s responsibility is to provide aid to Puerto Rico as long as it’s needed to save lives and get the island back in working order.”