Samantha Bee Calls Out Trump's BS in Puerto Rico Crisis

Rossello had asked Trump to temporarily waive the law as the island seeks food, water and other supplies following widespread devastation from Hurricane Maria.

President Trump on Thursday waived the Jones Act for Puerto Rico, easing federal restrictions on cargo ships' transport of goods to the hurricane-ravaged island.

The White House has authorized a waiver to loosen shipping rules regarding Puerto Rico that island officials say would be a significant help for recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria. The waiver will be in effect for 10 days after signature and covers all products being shipped to Puerto Rico.

The 1920 law restricts shipments between U.S. ports to US-owned and operated cargo ships, thus preventing foreign-flagged ships from delivering relief aid to the U.S. territory. Now foreign-flagged vessels also will be able to move shipments from the US mainland to Puerto Rico and between ports there.

With the electrical grid nearly completely wiped out and untold numbers of people stranded without access to water and food in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans- who, it can not be said often enough, are American citizens- are truly facing a crisis.

The waiver will guarantee the needed equipment to fix infrastructure damaged by the storm and restore emergency services, Duke said in a news release.

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Seven lawmakers, led by Velázquez, sent a letter Monday to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke requesting a one year waiver of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico. The island is finally starting to get the support that it desperately needs, despite Trump-who has blamed Puerto Rico for its own crisis-initially refusing to lift the act due to "a lot of people that work in the shipping industry" not wanting him to. Relief supplies are sitting on docks because there are not enough trucks to take them to the hardest-hit areas.

But the Trump Administration's ability to waive the Jones Act is limited to times of crisis. The island relies heavily on ports.

Rhode Island and MA residents have amassed enough donations meant for Puerto Rico to fill almost ten cargo ship containers.

The law was suspended in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to help ships reach Florida and Texas, but the president expressed reluctance to do the same for Puerto Rico.

Studies show that the Jones Act is partly to blame for the significant increases in costs to ship goods to Puerto Rico and Hawaii, doubling them in some cases.

Carmen Yulin Cruz had said the Trump administration was "killing us with the inefficiency" following Hurricane Maria, which left at least 16 people on the island dead and knocked out the U.S. territory's power supply.

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