Things That Matter

Puerto Rico Was Purposefully Denied Disaster Relief They Were Guaranteed By The Federal Government

It’s been more than two years since Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico and the recovery efforts have shown no signs of stopping anytime soon. Those efforts have been exponentially slowed down by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Two officials from the department, HUD head of Community Planning and Development David Woll and Chief Financial Officer Irving Dennis, appeared at a congressional hearing last week saying that they purposely missed a September deadline to release billions of dollars in hurricane recovery funds to the island.

Their reasoning behind the delayed money is simply a lack of trust between them and the U.S. territory’s housing agency to handle the money properly. This new development is a new chapter in the long dispute between the Trump administration and Puerto Rico over federal support following Hurricane Maria. President Trump has called Puerto Rico an “island with deep-rooted economic problems” and similar to what HUD officials voiced, he has stated that he doesn’t trust giving the U.S. territory more funds.  

“We want to have a belt and suspenders plan in place to make sure that, A: we’re protecting taxpayers but, B: more importantly, that the money is going to the people of Puerto Rico and not being wasted or abused,” Woll told lawmakers.

While it’s already been two years since Hurricane Maria hit, Puerto Rico has only received a third of the $43 billion Congress allocated toward hurricane recovery efforts, which includes the construction of rebuilding damaged homes. 

Credit: @nicolemarie_A / Twitter

According to NBC News, HUD officials were supposed to file funding notices to 18 different states that were directly affected by natural disasters back on Sept. 4. The agency did indeed publish the notices expect for Puerto Rico. If the notice was filed, it would have let Puerto Rico start creating the framework for a plan to manage the allocated funds. 

Despite the delay, Woll said at the hearing that the agency was committed to helping Puerto Rico but not without any proper oversight of future funds. 

“All of us at HUD stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Puerto Rico,” Woll said at the hearing. “At HUD we are committed to the recovery of all Americans whose homes and communities were devastated by natural disasters, and we are steadfast in our stewardship of the funding and trust in us by you in your colleagues in Congress.”

During the hearing, Woll and Dennis voiced similar concerns about the lack of oversight when it comes to the financial troubles that have affected Puerto Rico for years. The two also brought up the recent resignation of Ricardo Rosselló as governor and the islands decade long debt issues as reasons why they delayed the funds. 

“When you think of $20 billion going through an entity that has no infrastructure for that, that does not get developed overnight. When you think of the capacity they need, they need people, they need processes and they need technology,” Dennis said at the hearing. “We’re trying to make sure it is that there is good oversight and controls and policies in place.”

The hearing resulted in some members of Congress saying that the delay violated federal law that was set in the appropriations bill that included the funds.

Credit: @repchuygarcia / Twitter

The statements from Woll and Dennis prompted some backlash from lawmakers who weren’t pleased to hear that funds were being withheld due to political reasoning. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), chair of the Appropriations Committee, called HUD’s planned delay as “perpetual stonewalling.”

“No caveats. No carve-outs. No exemptions,” Lowey said. “It’s not just unacceptable: It is unlawful.”

The action from HUD was also criticized by top Republican on the subcommittee who also voiced their concerns on the delayed funds. 

“Look, I understand that there may be factors outside of our witnesses’ control that led to miss this deadline,” said Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL). “But I’m troubled—I’m always troubled, and I don’t care which administration [does] it—when any administration doesn’t meet requirements set in statute.”

Going forward, Dennis and Woll say that a quicker disbursement of the money will happen once Puerto Rico’s housing department, Departamento de la Vivienda, can ensure the agency that it can handle the large incoming money being allocated to them. There have been concerns that the agency doesn’t have enough staffing and oversight to handle the large influx of money which again raises concerns about the mishandling of funds.

“No one more than Puerto Ricans want oversight, but what we’ve seen so far doesn’t work,” Miguel Soto-Class, founder and president of the Center for a New Economy, a nonpartisan think tank, told NBC News. “We don’t want punishment disguised as oversight.”

READ: New Study Finds Taíno DNA Is Still Present Despite Paper Genocide Perpetrated By European Colonizers

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Donald Trump Compared His Son’s ‘Proud Latina’ Girlfriend To Eva Perón After RNC Speech Where She Claimed Puerto Rico Isn’t Part Of The United States

Fierce

Donald Trump Compared His Son’s ‘Proud Latina’ Girlfriend To Eva Perón After RNC Speech Where She Claimed Puerto Rico Isn’t Part Of The United States

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

We might all be proud Latinas but not all Latinas are so proud of Kimberly Guilfoyle.

The girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. has proven herself to be a controversial figure on both sides of the Democratic and Republican aisles. The American attorney, prosecutor, and television news personality has made waves for her part on the 2020 presidential campaign trail as she stands by her man and his grody dad. She even showed her support during a very loud appearance at the Republican National Convention wherein she made claims of being a “first-generation American.”

Her booming speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention quickly went viral and prompted a comparison to Argentina’s Eva Perón from Donald Trump. As well as backlash from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who gave her a major fact check.

While critics found Guilfoyle’s speech to be
“over-the-top,” at the very least our so-called “leader of the free world” loved every bit of it.

According to reports, soon after her speech, Donald Trump called Guilfoyle and praised her for her speech. He even compared her to Eva “Evita” Perón.

“That was fantastic…so amazing,” Trump told Guilfoyle on the reportedcall. “So much energy…so much passion.” According to The Daily Beast, the president said “nobody could have done that but you,” and called her “my Kimberly.”

Eva Perón was the former first lady of Argentina from 1948 to 1952. In 1976 Andrew Lloyd Webber made her story into a musical called Evita. Trump has apparently been a huge fan of the musical.

While Trump loved the speech Ocasio-Cortez was quick to slam Guilfoyle for her speech and the ignorance that she delivered during it

AOC took Guilfoyle to task for calling herself a child of immigrants and a “first-generation American.”

“My mother Mercedes was a special education teacher from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. My father, also an immigrant, came to this nation in pursuit of the American dream,” Guilfoyle recalled in her speech.

The claims, like many made by the Trumps, are only partly true. While Guilfoyle’s father is from Ireland, her mother was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico which makes her a U.S. citizen.

“The woman the GOP picked as their ‘proud’ Latina … didn’t seem to know that Puerto Rico is already part of the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a Twitter.

AOC, also a proud Boricua, noted that Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens by birthright for over more than a century.

The lawmaker slammed Guilfoyle for supporting the Republican portrayal of Latino Americans as foreigners despite the fact that they are U.S. citizens.

“It reflects their belief that Latinos aren’t real citizens,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Guilfoyle who is a former Fox News pundit received quite a bit of backlash for her RNC speech last week in which she shouted into a camera. Even memes were born of the event which was not done before a live audience. They want to destroy this country and everything we have fought for and hold dear,” Guilfoyle shouted during her theatrical event. “They want to steal your liberty, your freedom!”

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A Video On Social Media Has Everyone Assuming That Bad Bunny Is Now Engaged

Entertainment

A Video On Social Media Has Everyone Assuming That Bad Bunny Is Now Engaged

gabrielaberlingeri / Instagram

Social media is a great way to spread your news. It seems like Bad Bunny might secretly be trying to spread some special news. A video on his girlfriend’s Instagram has everyone speculating that the Puerto Rican artist is now engaged.

It’s amazing how one video can send people into a series of tailspins.

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mi canción favorita y me la quitan 🥺 #vivaelperreo

A post shared by 787 (@gabrielaberlingeri) on

It seems like a woman innocently sipping a smoothie and enjoying her day. However, if you look closely, you will see that the young woman is actually wearing a ring on an important finger.

The news is spreading fast all over social media.

Nothing has been confirmed but social media works as good as a small-town rumor mill. As soon as one person sees it, everyone has to know about it. Like, it can never just be a little secret for people hold among themselves. Twitter is the land of snap reactions and unfounded claims.

The rumor has already started breaking hearts across the internet.

Honestly, the best part about celebrities is believing that you can one day be their boo. Now, with this cryptic video, it is clear that Bad Bunny’s heart is being permanently taken away from us.

Some folks are just mad.

Like, calm down. It is literally not a big deal because of the likelihood of finding and marrying a celebrity is pretty low. Hollywood has spent too much time trying to get us to believe that that was so possible.

Some people are happy for the young woman finding happiness.

Nothing wrong with celebrating someone who is winning at life. If you were engaged to Bad Bunny, you’d be happy too.

READ: Fans Are Worried After Bad Bunny Was Rushed To Hospital For Emergency Surgery

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