Washington – At a time when the Senate is seeking an agreement on appropriations to mitigate recent natural disasters, Republican Marco Rubio(Florida) said it should be considered left in the hands of the Fiscal Oversight Board (JSF) the administration of funds to soften the damage of hurricane Maria if that helps the White House allocate more funds to the island.
“I think it could be an option to consider only if it gets the president (Donald Trump) to support additional funds,” Senator Rubio said.
The Republican senator responded in writing to a question from El Nuevo Díaafter he indicated to the Politico publication that President Trump can use the confirmation in the federal Senate of the members of the JSF, which controls the financial decisions of the government of Puerto Rico. , to “manage more closely” upcoming assignments to mitigate the disaster caused by the hurricane.
“That should give the president confidence that any future financing is done properly. My greatest hope is to use the angle of the JSF to take the White House to a place where they feel comfortable doing more, “said Senator Rubio.
The JSF already has power to decide the fiscal plans and budget of the government of Puerto Rico, as well as to review each contract related to Hurricane Maria that reaches $ 10 million.
Trump and the White House have made clear their reluctance to deliver new funds to the island related to Hurricane Maria, because they understand that the authorities of the government of Puerto Rico are “incompetent or corrupt.”
In mid-February, the First Circuit of Appeals of Boston, meanwhile, declared the appointments of the members of the JSF unconstitutional, on the grounds that it violated the constitutional clause by which the president appoints high-ranking federal officials and are confirmed by the Senate.
In the case of the current Board, the Promesa law created a process by which the then President Barack Obama selected six candidates proposed by the Congress leadership and directly appointed one of them.
Unless the US Supreme Court accepts a request for certiorari that the JSF intends to present, President Trump and the Senate have until May 16 to confirm the current board members or appoint new officers.
The Republicans and Democrats of the Senate have been months in a dam about the amount of funds for Puerto Rico that should be included in a new project to mitigate mainly the natural disasters that occurred in 2018.
While there is consensus around an additional $ 600 million in food assistance, the Democrats are calling for more aid, which Trump denies as much as the Republican leadership of the Senate.
“I will support financing for the PAN in whatever way it can be obtained,” Rubio said when asked about a suggestion he made about the possibility of legislating food assistance funds independently.
But Senator Rubio said that food assistance funds – in apparent reference to the White House’s position – will “really only have an opportunity to be approved if they are part of a package of disaster appropriations.”
Due to the annual “retirement” of the Democrats, the House of Representatives, which approved its own project since January to attend recent natural disasters, plans to recess its sessions on Wednesday, until April 29. The Senate, while, although it will be meeting all week, will also decreed a recess on Friday until April 29.