In an op-ed directed at President Donald Trump on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders called on the president to quit with the insulting tweets and start doing a better job to help rebuild the storm-ravaged and economically-devastated island of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory that’s home to millions of American citizens.
“When Congress just passed an almost $700 billion defense bill and is now debating a Republican proposal to give up to $5 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthy and large corporations, we have the resources to provide the help to Puerto Rico that we always do when states and communities are hard hit by hurricanes.” —Sen. Bernie SandersIn the guest column for the local El Nueva Dia newspaper—titled “Trump: Less Tweets, More Melp“—Sanders declares that the people of Puerto Rico “are entitled to the same kind of response as the people of Texas, Florida, Vermont and other regions of the country that have been hit hard by natural disasters. President Donald Trump should be focusing his energies on helping to rebuild Puerto Rico, not attacking San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.”
Sanders excoriates the president—who during his visit to the island earlier this week said the disaster was throwing the federal “budget out of whack” and “costing a lot of money”—for being so grossly insensitive to the dire situation in Puerto Rico while at home pushing a budget that adds tens of billions of dollars to already bloated Pentagon spending and proposing massive giveaways in tax cuts to the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations.
“When Congress just passed an almost $700 billion defense bill and is now debating a Republican proposal to give up to $5 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthy and large corporations,” writes Sanders, “we have the resources to provide the help to Puerto Rico that we always do when states and communities are hard hit by hurricanes.”
As a growing chorus of renewable energy experts and climate advocates are urging, Sanders also called for the island to be built back with a strict focus on green technologies that make more sense for the island’s long-term economic health and resilience.
“As an island with extraordinary solar and wind capabilities, a new distributed energy system must be built which is based on sustainable energy, not expensive fossil fuel,” Sanders argues. “Not only will this provide less expensive electricity, but it will enable Puerto Rico to better withstand future natural disasters.”
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