Puerto Rico Warns of ‘Total Shutdown’ If Congress Doesn’t Send Money
Puerto Rico’s treasury secretary warned Wednesday that the island territory will have a “total shutdown” of hurricane-recovery efforts if Congress doesn’t provide billions of dollars in emergency funds by the end of the month. Treasury Secretary Raul Maldonado said $1.6 billion the Puerto Rican government had available before Hurricane Maria hit two weeks ago is rapidly dwindling amid recovery work. “I don’t have any collections, and we are spending a lot of money providing direct assistance for the emergency,” Maldonado was cited as saying by Bloomberg News. While President Trump has repeatedly complained about the island’s $74 billion debt, Puerto Rican authorities are reportedly more worried about how they will get funds for fuel, pay for recovery workers, and food aid for residents.