Democrats confident they can block Trump’s agenda after spending-bill win

Democrats think they have set the stage to block President Trump’s legislative priorities for years to come by winning major concessions in a spending bill to keep the government open. In addition to the $5 billion in domestic spending, the bipartisan agreement released early Monday morning is packed with Democratic priorities, such as protection for funding for Planned Parenthood, a permanent extension of health care for coal miners and money to help Puerto Rico make up a projected shortfall in Medicaid.

Trump threatens to abandon Puerto Rico recovery effort

President Trump served notice Thursday that he may pull back federal relief workers from Puerto Rico, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a staggering humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of  Hurricane Maria. Declaring the U.S. territory's electrical grid  and infrastructure to have been a “disaster before hurricanes,” Trump wrote Thursday that it will be up to Congress how much federal money to appropriate to the island for its recovery efforts and that recovery workers will not stay “forever.”

Trump Administration Tells Puerto Rico It’s Too Rich for Aid Money

Means testing has now come to disaster aid — and it only applies to Puerto Rico. When Congress passed a $36.5 billion disaster relief bill to bolster rebuilding efforts in several wildfire and hurricane-damaged areas in October, it shortchanged Puerto Rico,  giving it a $4.9 billion loan instead  of the grant that other areas received. Now, it appears the debt- and hurricane-ravaged island won’t even get that money.

Trump and Hurricane Maria: the true death toll in Puerto Rico

A highly credible new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the ultimate fallout from Hurricane Maria was 4,600 “excess deaths” — more than twice the mortality of Hurricane Katrina and the deadliest natural disaster on US soil in more than a century. Suspicion will, of course, linger for years that there’s a connection between Trump’s habit of weaponizing anti-Latino hysteria as the centerpiece of his politics and the unfolding of an essentially unprecedented human tragedy in a Spanish-speaking US territory. The possibility that Trump and his team simply have no idea what they’re doing should not, however, be dismissed out of hand.

Puerto Rico increases Hurricane Maria death toll to 2,975

The revised death toll is nearly 50 times the previous estimate of 64 Governor Ricardo Rossello "accepted" the findings in a long-awaited independent investigation. Puerto
Rico has struggled to repair its infrastructure and power grid since
the storm, and is asking US Congress for $139bn (£108bn) in recovery

Post-Maria, Many Puerto Ricans Struggle to Access Adequate ID to Vote

Coralis Camacho Garcia
left Puerto Rico almost a year after Hurricane Maria. In July, she
moved to Kissimmee, Florida, to find better healthcare for her children. Voting in the midterm
elections wasn’t on the top of her mind — nor did she realize the effort
it could take to cast a ballot. Camacho Garcia is one of tens of
thousands of people to leave the island for Florida. Many of them have
faced a bureaucratic nightmare as they attempt to exercise their right
to vote.

Trump Holding Back Money for Puerto Rico Recovery

Trump administration officials have admitted that last summer they
knowingly withheld billions of dollars Congress appropriated to help
Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. House Democrats say
withholding the relief money violates the law. The HUD delay meant the island missed a deadline to apply for billions
of dollars in disaster relief funds, raising doubts about when, if ever,
the money will flow to the island devastated in September 2017 by a
Category 5 hurricane.