Puerto Rico Governor and Florida senator urge Congress to pass relief package

By  | 

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Puerto Rico's governor on Capitol Hill.

"Our call again is for Congress to take action," Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said.

He joined Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) pressing senators to pass a relief package now.

"They are today, four weeks after the storm they are where Florida was 48 hours after the storm," Rubio said.

One month since Hurricane Maria struck, things on the island only getting worse. Millions of people are without power, 48 people have been reported dead and bare necessities like food, water, and gasoline are still hard to find. Rossello met with senators and President Trump Thursday to remind them.

"This is not over, not over by a long shot," Rossello said.

Rubio pressed his colleagues in the senate to rework the relief package passed by the House last week. He said it leaves out key industries in Florida that need to be addressed and it fails to address a liquidity issue for Puerto Rico to get the funds fast.

"The argument that has been made to us is 'let's just pass this now and we'll come back and do more in the future.' We don't, there's no time for that, especially for Puerto Rico," Rubio added.

With the clock ticking, big issues still remain unsolved on the island. The Army Corps of Engineers have yet to achieve a power grid contract. In talks with President Trump, Rossello sees signs new infrastructure is in the works.

"We're looking at designs of a new power plant a big electrical plant and many different designs and concepts," President Trump said.

The Governor of Puerto Rico is asking for all the help he can get. He said he is asking for nearly $5 billion in short-term relief and a long term package from Congress.

Governor Rossello is scheduled to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on the proposed relief package before returning to Puerto Rico Thursday.

The senate is expected to begin work on passing the bill Thursday night.

Other senators weighing in on the passage, Democratic New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand adding the need for a Marshall Plan. She said in a statement: "we need a Marshall Plan that would achieve long-term fiscal stability and long-term rebuilding in Puerto Rico. A Marshall Plan would help Puerto Rico greatly reduce its debt and gain access to liquidity, and completely modernize its infrastructure and rebuild its energy grid, hospitals, roads, bridges, reservoirs, schools, the Guajataca Dam, and the thousands of buildings and homes that were destroyed."