by CONNOR O’BRIEN · October 8, 2017
FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Sunday that “money is not the issue” when it comes to his agency’s work on rebuilding Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. | AP Photo
The chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Sunday that criticism of relief efforts in Puerto Rico by the mayor of San Juan had been “filtered out.”
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” FEMA administrator Brock Long brushed off criticism from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has slammed the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria. Cruz tweeted earlier Sunday that requests for assistance from FEMA in response to power outages at a San Juan hospital had gone unanswered.
“We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don’t have time for the political noise,” Long said. “The bottom line is, is that we are making progress every day in conjunction with the governor.”
Long said FEMA is “restringing a very fragile system every day.”
“Rebuilding, rebuilding Puerto Rico is going to be a greater conversation for the Congress in conjunction with the governor on … what the way forward is in the future of Puerto Rico,” Long said.
Long added that while funding “is not the issue” for FEMA, the agency is still “strained.”
“Money is not the issue. Congress has been on top of that working with us,” Long said. “Back on Oct. 1, we had another $6.7 billion added to the disaster relief fund. And we continue to update them on a regular basis and will ask for supplementals as needed.”
“In regards to resources, of course, we’re strained. You know, bottom line is, is that over nearly 85 percent of my entire agency is deployed right now,” he added. “We’re still working massive issues” from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma “as well as the issues in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and now this one.”