Biden to announce $60 million in funding during trip to Puerto Rico

President Biden, on a trip Monday to view hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, plans to announce more than $60 million in federal funding to shore up levees, strengthen flood walls and create a new flood warning system to help the island better prepare for storms.

The funding will come from funds allocated under the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that Congress approved last year, according to a White House official.

President and First Lady Jill Biden will meet with families and community leaders affected by Hurricane Fiona. They will also take part in a community service project to help pack bags with food and other essentials – part of the visit that could conjure up contrasting images with President Donald Trump’s trip in 2017, when he threw rolls of paper towels into a cheering crowd. San Juan after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Biden will also receive a briefing on recovery efforts during the trip, and he will be joined by Deanne Criswell, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The additional funding is intended to further help Puerto Rico prepare for storms. In February 2021, the Biden administration released $1.3 billion to help the island protect against disasters.

“Our hearts … are heavy,” Biden said Saturday night of the hurricane damage. “We owe Puerto Rico much more than they have already gotten.”

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on September 18, knocking out power across the United States and leaving more than 3 million people in the dark.

The Biden administration announced last week that it would approve a legal waiver allowing Puerto Rico to receive a shipment of diesel fuel that was held up off the island’s coast, following an uproar among officials of the island.

After traveling to Puerto Rico on Monday, Biden plans to travel to Florida on Wednesday to view the damage caused by Hurricane Ian.


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