President Biden traveled to Puerto Rico Monday to meet with families affected by Hurricane Fiona and get briefed on recovery efforts. The president pledged to provide more than $60 million in aid in response to last month’s storm, which struck five years after Hurricane Maria devastated the island and killed thousands there.
"We came here in person to show that we're with you. All of America is with you as you receive and recover and rebuild," Biden said at an event in Ponce, Puerto Rico, later adding, “We’re going to make sure you get every single dollar promised.”
The new funding, which will come from the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law passed last year, is intended to “to shore up levees and flood walls, and create a new flood warning system to help residents better prepare for future storms,” Biden said on Twitter, adding, “This funding builds on our work to support Puerto Rico's resilience like the $1.3 billion we allocated to the island to protect against future disasters. And the nearly $700 million in infrastructure investments since I signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
Biden earlier told reporters that he was heading to Puerto Rico “because they haven’t been taken very good care of. They’ve been trying like hell to catch up from the last hurricane.” Those comments were likely alluding to the controversial response of former President Donald Trump’s administration to Hurricane Maria. You may remember the video of Trump tossing rolls of paper towels to people in San Juan. Trump also opposed providing additional disaster aid to the island and his administration delayed $20 billion in congressionally approved funding.
Biden is scheduled to travel to Florida on Wednesday to see firsthand the destruction caused by Hurricane Ian.