U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott urged President Donald Trump to promises resources for Puerto Rico. The Florida Senators want a pre-landfall emergency declaration before Tropical Storm Dorian makes landfall.
“We write in full support of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration for the island in anticipation of Tropical Storm Dorian,” reads a letter from the two Republican Senators.
“As current projections indicate, Tropical Storm Dorian is forecast to be near hurricane strength when it moves close to Puerto Rico. As such, we urge you to immediately approve this request to ensure that full federal resources are made available.”
There has been tension for years between the Trump administration and Puerto Rico over hurricane recovery spending.
Trump seemed to swipe at the U.S. territory with a tweet on Tuesday as the island braced for a storm.
“Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end?” Trump wrote.
“Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all-time record of its kind for ‘anywhere.’”
But Trump on Wednesday promised resources to the island, even while swiping at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
“We are tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico. FEMA and all others are ready, and will do a great job,” Trump tweeted.
When they do, let them know it, and give them a big Thank You — Not like last time. That includes from the incompetent Mayor of San Juan!”
But Rubio and Scott pushed a more supportive message.
“Puerto Ricans are still in the process of recovering from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island on September 20, 2017,” the Senators wrote to Trump.
“As Tropical Storm Dorian approaches, the state and federal government must effectively coordinate in order to help reduce the potential loss of life and destruction of property. As we witnessed last October with Hurricane Michael, preparation and upfront resources are paramount.”
The National Hurricane Center currently predicts tropical storm level winds to strike Puerto Rico around 2 p.m.
“We strongly urge you to consider all of the circumstances referenced in Puerto Rico’s request and approve this pre-landfall emergency declaration that will provide the resources necessary to ensure the safety of the American citizens in Puerto Rico,” reads Rubio and Scott’s letter.