Trump waives cargo restrictions to speed help to Puerto Rico

Posted September 29, 2017

Osceola County officials said they expect to ask the state to waive state-mandated class-size restrictions for schools, as well as requirements that students have immunization records.

The White House on Thursday waived an act that was preventing foreign ships from delivering supplies to Puerto Rico, more than a week after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory.

"They can not do surgeries, and I don't see this in the media".

The Trump administration initially insisted the waiver was not needed because the U.S. had enough ships to deliver goods but an unnamed official from the Department of Homeland Security warned there was a bottleneck with unloading cargo at the island's damaged ports and getting supplies inland, as well as a shortage of diesel fuel. That decision came only after days of public pressure from lawmakers - both Republicans and Democrats.

President Donald Trump waived laws forbidding foreign ships from transporting goods between USA ports and Puerto Rico Thursday.

During a briefing, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said she found the conditions "shocking" when she visited the island on Friday. "As required by federal law, it is imperative that young children who have been displaced are enrolled in schools immediately and are provided with health and other services necessary to ensure their academic success". In the case of the airport, for example, Rubio said the Federal Aviation Administration, FEMA and the local government have jurisdiction. All this is evidence to Rubio that DOD needs to take control. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been leading the charge to get rid of it.

The domestic shipping industry argues the Jones Act is needed to preserve USA shipping jobs and for national security.

"We want to make sure that we're ready from the day the first person comes just in case that we have a large number or just that one person", Robert Brenker, director of personnel for education in Waterbury, said.

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The Trump administration pushed back on criticism that its response has been slow or ineffective.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke had waived the law earlier this month to help ease fuel shortages in the Southeast following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. "This can help immediately provide access to a few common data feeds that are immediately needed in the event of a disaster, such as traffic data; weather and storm tracks; precipitation forecast and accumulation amounts; and flood gauges".

Trump has faced criticism for the White House's response to the damage in Puerto Rico, which was devastated after a direct hit by the Category 4 hurricane's torrential rain and 150 miles per hour wind on September 20.

And it gives his opponents another data point to use when they accuse Trump of being more empathetic to the plights of people who look like him.

"Even as Florida works to fully recover from Hurricane Irma, our state still has the capability to support our neighbors and friends in their time of need", he said in a statement.

That's tied up getting critical supplies such as food, fuel and water to Puerto Rico, which has largely remained without power since Hurricane Maria made landfall last week.

A barge with 100 defense trucks carrying diesel and gasoline was expected to arrive in San Juan by Monday.

"It is meant to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms", Duke said.