I received an electronic newsletter from Sen. David Perdue which was a reprint of an opinion piece published in The Herald. He celebrated the recent passage of a disaster relief bill, which is good news indeed.
The piece is titled "Politics has no place in disaster relief," yet the senator uses the column as a means of spreading disinformation favorable to his re-election bid and denigrating Democrats. Perdue repeats Trump's misleading claim that Puerto Rico is eligible to receive $91 billion in relief funds. According to FEMA, at the end of 2018 Puerto Rico received about $11.2 billion in disaster relief payment since 2017 and FEMA estimates that a little less than $21 billion will reach Puerto Rico from the Disaster Relief Fund by the end of 2019.
Where did the $91 billion figure come from? President Trump has used that figure several times. White House officials contend that $91 billion figure is an estimated amount of money that could be committed to Puerto Rico under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988 over the course of 20 years. There is no guarantee that Puerto Rico will ever receive that amount.
Yes, Sen. Perdue, politics has no place in disaster relief. It is a shame that you decided to bring it in.
Avondale Estates, Ga.