On Wednesday night, President Trump announced that his administration would assign $448 million in federal aid to communities in Florida that were affected by the Category 5 Hurricane Michael last year. While Trump was making his announcement, he was aiming fire at the Democrats for standing in the way of his policies during a “Make America Great Again” rally in Panama City Beach. During the rally, Trump told supporters: “In the wake of the terrible storm, this extraordinary community pulled together and showed the world your unbreakable spirit. Today, I’m doing the most allowed by law to support the people of Florida. Because of the severity of the storm — Category 5 — we will have the federal government pay for 90 percent of the cost in many circumstances.”
The White House has blamed “Democrat obstruction” for a stoppage in recovery work, with about 120 projects being deferred. The president’s opposition to more hurricane aid for Puerto Rico has sparked a standoff with congressional Democrats that has blocked some assistance to the island and elsewhere, including the Florida Panhandle.
Trump’s administration has put blame on “Democrat obstructions” for blocking their recovery work, which has caused about 120 projects to be deferred. President Trump’s denial of moving more hurricane aid to Puerto Rico has created a bit of a standoff with the congressional Democrats. This has caused assistance to be blocked to the island as well as the Florida Panhandle. President Trump added: “The money is coming immediately. No games, no gimmicks, no delays, we’re just doing it.” Trump continued his repeated claim that Puerto Rico had been given $91 billion for recovery efforts from the 2017 Hurricane Maria, which he referred to as “the most money we’ve ever given to anybody. We’ve never given $91 billion to a state. We gave Puerto Rico $91 billion … and they don’t like me.”
As he removed a printout of a bar graph from his pocket, Trump showed audience members the amount of aid the United States had provided to Puerto Rico compared to other disaster-hit states. “I didn’t want to spend on a big board because that costs the government too much money,” joked Trump. He continued saying that the leaders “want more money. They got $91 billion, the largest amount of money ever given for a hurricane to a state … and that’s the way it is.”
The president continued by saying: “I think that the people of Puerto Rico are very grateful to Donald Trump for what we’ve done for them. That was a bad storm.” The White House has stated that the $91 billion amount includes approximately $50 billion in expected future disaster disbursements that could last several decades as well as $41 billion that was already approved. So far, the actual aid that has been given to Puerto Rico amounts to $11 billion.
After hearing the president’s announcement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement in response, accusing Senate Republicans of being “more committed to hurting our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico than healing communities everywhere. Meanwhile, the President has doubled down on Republicans’ callousness, deliberately delaying assistance payments to Puerto Rico and inflicting more needless suffering on the Americans who are still reeling from his Administration’s disastrous response to the hurricanes,” said Pelosi. She continued by saying: “And so, hard-hit communities from the Florida panhandle to the Midwest are stuck waiting for the GOP-controlled Senate to pass a bill to help them. We are now just weeks away from another hurricane season and Republicans continue to delay and play politics. When disaster strikes, all Americans deserve to know that their government is there for them.”
The rally, which was the fourth one held by the Trump campaign so far this year, began just hours before the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt of Congress. The vote came after President Trump used his executive privilege to prevent lawmakers from seeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full unredacted report in Russian activities during the 2016 presidential election. During his speech, Trump bashed Democrats for wasting the governments time and resources on the Russian investigation, which he has said led to nothing. Trump said: “Instead of wasting time, energy, taxpayer dollars on partisan stunts, hoaxes, and witch hunts, Democrats should be focused on building up our country. No collusion, no obstruction, no anything … Two years on a witch hunt, almost $40 million, 20 Trump haters … after two years, nothing!”
In Mueller’s report, it concluded that the two-year-long investigation into Trump’s campaign didn’t find any kind of evidence that supported the allegations of collusion between Trump’s people and the Russian government. However, the report didn’t provide evidence that Trump didn’t obstruct justice as the president. As of now, House Democrats have subpoenaed the full unredacted report as well as the evidence that supported the report. The Justice Department has denied those requests.
President Trump said: “It is a disgrace. We have to focus on infrastructure, we have to focus on lowering medical prices and medicine, always focus on our military and our vets, which we’ve done. It’s time to stop this nonsense.” Trump has continuously said that the Democrats’ efforts to see the unredacted report are simply an attempt to damage his political future. Trump’s administration has also rejected the efforts by Democrat-led House committees to look into Trump’s tax returns and business dealings as well as the West Wing’s security clearance procedure.
On Wednesday night, the president called out rival Democrats in the 2020 presidential race, calling them “some real beauties.” President Trump mocked the Democrats by saying: “Let’s just pick somebody, please, and let’s start this thing.” Trump continued by saying: “We have a choice between Sleepy Joe [Biden] and Crazy Bernie [Sanders], and I’ll take any of them. Trump also said: “Democrats are now the party of high taxes, high crime, open borders, late-term abortion, witch hunts and delusions. The Republican Party is the party for all Americans. We want to make America great again, that’s what we’re doing. Trump also took some time to speak about the American economy, referring to it as “the envy of the world.” Trump said: “Our growth number came in for the first quarter, which is almost always the lowest quarter of the year historically, 3.2 percent, crushing expectations.”