Puerto Rico relief package passes House, moves to Senate

Published: Oct. 13, 2017 at 4:11 PM EDT
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Puerto Rican’s in D.C. calling on Congress for help.

Alberto Dominguez’ family in Puerto Rico has no running water or electricity. He’s here with his wife and 5-year-old son to remind lawmakers that those 3.4 million people on the Island are U.S. citizens.

“I think there is a lot of miseducation on Puerto Ricans on who we are as a people," Dominquez said.

Coming from an island distant from the mainland, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) said she isn’t surprised Hawaiians are concerned what the response would be from the government if this happened to them.

“This response to Puerto Rico that has really failed in many respects to the point where the vast majority in Puerto Rico still don’t have access to power, who are still without access to clean water," Gabbard said.

Gabbard joined her House colleagues in passing a $35 billion relief package Thursday which will not only go to hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands but the other areas till recouping from previous storms and the recent devastating wildfires in California.

After drawing criticism for threating to pull out help from Puerto Rico, President Trump recommitting his support Friday, tweeting he will “always be with them.”

Now, the next hurdle is passing the Senate. Several lawmakers, like New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), already said they’re on board.

“These are our American citizens our brothers and sisters and they desperately need our help," Sen. Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand joined a bipartisan group of senators seeing the devastation in Puerto Rico first hand. The Senate is expected to pass this relief package when they return to Congress next week.

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