Puerto Rico fires back at GOP tax plan

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Puerto Rico hit with another devastating blow.

“We’re being penalized," Carlos Mercado, Director at the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration said.

Puerto Rican officials said the newly passed GOP tax plan treats Puerto Rico as a foreign company rather than part of the US. Mercado said that means a hit to the Islands already strained economy.

On Tuesday the bill passed the senate. Just three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island. Puerto Rico’s Governor called on Congress to pass a supplemental aid package before they leave for the holidays. Mercado said both the tax issue and the aid funding are vital to the Island’s survival.

“Congress needs to help us in this process," Mercado added.

With the passing of the tax plan Mercado added that Congress is penalizing jobs on the Island. Others at the White House disagree.

“The bill actually provides significant corporate relief for Puerto Ricans as well as companies here across America," Marc Short, White House Director of Legislative Affairs said.

Short said he rejects the idea that the GOP tax plan is a disadvantage to Puerto Rico. He believes they’ll actually see significant benefits. Short said Puerto Rican officials are speaking out about this to leverage more on the supplemental aid bill.

“The President put forward a bill that provided $40 billion dollars in relief for those affected by the hurricanes. Congress is plus-ing that up additionally we’ll probably have a vote on that sometime in January," he added.

President Trump hosted an event at the White House Wednesday to celebrate the passage of the tax plan. When he’ll sign it into law has yet to be decided.

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