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HUD IG Report Shows Trump Admin Blocked Disaster Aid to Puerto Rico And Obstructed Investigation

Discussion in 'American Politics' started by essentialsaltes, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    The Trump administration put up bureaucratic obstacles that stalled approximately $20 billion in hurricane relief for Puerto Rico and then obstructed an investigation into the holdup, according to an inspector general report obtained by The Washington Post.

    Congress requested the investigation into the delays to recovery aid for Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 left residents of the U.S. territory without power and clean water for months. But, the report said, former Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson and another former HUD official declined to be interviewed by investigators during the course of the examination that began in 2019.

    The OMB required HUD’s notice of grant funds to go through an interagency review process before approval, preventing HUD from publishing its draft notice of funding by its target date. The OMB had never before required such a review process for a notice allocating disaster-recovery funds

    At one point, [HUD official] Montgomery told [OMB DIrector] Vought that the White House’s actions were tantamount to holding disaster-relief funds “hostage,” the report said.

    But the inspector general said given the lack of cooperation, investigators were unable to determine why the extra layer of review was required.

    Trump had also told then-White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and then-OMB Director Mick Mulvaney that he did not want a single dollar going to Puerto Rico, and instead, he wanted more of the money to go to Texas and Florida.
     
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  2. friend of

    friend of Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why is it the United States' responsibility to fix the problems of other countries?
     
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  3. wing2000

    wing2000 E pluribus unum Supporter

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    ...hint: Puerto Rico is a US Territory. They pay taxes, serve in the US Armed Force etc.

    But to answer your question: It's the right thing to do (not just for the US).
     
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  4. Belk

    Belk Senior Member Supporter

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    Perhaps you should learn what an unincorporated US territory is?
     
  5. Guinan

    Guinan Live long and prosper.

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    Maybe because it's the right thing to do and Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory.

    It astonishes me that many of my fellow conservative Christians complain about America helping poor people in other countries. Why would Christians object to helping other people who are in need?
     
  6. Belk

    Belk Senior Member Supporter

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    No offense, but have you looked at conservative Christianity in the US for the past 30 years? It has always been against helping those in need via the government since the Reagan years.
     
  7. ToddNotTodd

    ToddNotTodd Iconoclast

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    I’m sure that was a joke. No one is so stupid that they don’t know that Puerto Rico is part of the US...
     
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  8. Pommer

    Pommer Autodidact polymath

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    Way down on page 42 of the IG executive summary:

    HUD and PRDOH did not ultimately sign a grant agreement regarding this tranche of funds until February 21, 2020, several days after the USVIsigned its grant agreement. By contrast, Texas signed its grant agreement relating to second tranche funds 178 days earlier,on August 27, 2019, and Florida signed its agreement 150 days earlier,on September24, 2019.This tranche of funding was also delayed when viewed in comparison to the first tranche of funding for unmet needs for PRDOH, owing in significant part to the parallel delays in publishing Puerto Rico’s CDBG-MIT notice.

    Move along...nothing to see here.
     
  9. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    Not sure if sarcasm, or if I'm missing something. "Puerto Rico's CDBG-MIT notice" was something HUD had to provide, not something Puerto Rico was delaying. Page 43 sets out why there was this delay. The interference from OMB. Also, the OMB had interfered earlier, making HUD provide separate documents for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands from the states. Originally HUD planned to make one notice for everyone. It looks like OMB broke them apart so that it could delay the PR grants with additional layers of review without affecting the grants to the states.

    The OIG found that the Puerto Rico CDBG-MIT notice was delayed in large part because HUD could not reach an agreement with OMB over the content of the Federal Register notice for this third tranche of funding. HUD missed both a May 1, 2019 internal and September 4, 2019 statutory deadline to publish the Federal Register notice applicable to this tranche.

    HUD did not publish a notice in the Federal Register with respect to these funds for Puerto Rico until January 27, 2020 -- 145 days past the statutory deadline and nearly two years after the corresponding appropriation. By contrast, HUD published a notice for the other 14 eligible CDBG- MIT grantees 150 days earlier, on August 30, 2019, and a notice for the USVI 139 days earlier, on September 10, 2019, (dated September 4, 2019).
     
  10. Pommer

    Pommer Autodidact polymath

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    Yes, we’re on the same page, in both senses, my original reply was about how the Trump administration tried to normalize discrimination against our Puerto Rican brethren by increasing the red-tape and switching hoops in mid flight.

    Sorry if I conflused ya!
     
  11. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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  12. TLK Valentine

    TLK Valentine You will be who you will be. We are our choices.

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    I'm not so sure.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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  14. wing2000

    wing2000 E pluribus unum Supporter

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    Since the poster is Canadian, I'll give em a pass.....how many Americans can name the Canadian provinces and territories?
     
  15. TLK Valentine

    TLK Valentine You will be who you will be. We are our choices.

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    Just tell me which one these guys are from, eh?

    [​IMG]
     
  16. ToddNotTodd

    ToddNotTodd Iconoclast

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    Since I’m American, I’m asserting my god given right to be a moron. Because it seems like that’s how it works these days...
     
  17. hislegacy

    hislegacy At the great Pyramids

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    Is this the aid that they found unused and stockpiled in warehouses?

    Puerto Rico residents outraged after discovering unused aid from Hurricane Maria

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — People in a southern Puerto Rico city discovered a warehouse filled with water, cots and other unused emergency supplies, then set off a social media uproar Saturday when they broke in to retrieve goods as the area struggles to recover from a strong earthquake.

    With anger spreading in the U.S. territory after video of the event in Ponce appeared on Facebook, Gov. Wanda Vázquez quickly fired the director of the island's emergency management agency.
     
  18. Belk

    Belk Senior Member Supporter

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    I thought you were against whataboutisms?
     
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  19. hislegacy

    hislegacy At the great Pyramids

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    I am, that is why I asked a question in relationship to the topic. Thanks for asking
     
  20. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    The answer to your question is no, because that story is from January 2020 before HUD finally issued the Federal Register notice in the OP.
     
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