Transportation Dept. grants Puerto Rico $40M for road, bridge fix

Transportation Dept. grants Puerto Rico $40M for road, bridge fix

Rihanna has urged USA president Donald Trump to offer more help to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

The Jones Act will be waived "immediately", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

The decision to forgo the act came after critics blasted Washington for not immediately lifting the obscure and almost 100-year-old law that requires all goods ferried between US ports to be carried on ships built, owned and operated by Americans.

Marco Rubio urged President Donald Trump to put the USA military in charge of recovery efforts on the island.

Trump's decision to keep the Jones Act in place is also feeding into a narrative that the president is aloof to Puerto Rico's problems.

Looks like a recent request directly from Rosselló has swayed 45. The agency quoted a spokesman for a Florida-based shipping company as saying thousands of 20-foot containers of food, water and soap were piling up at docks in the Puerto Rican capital, San Juan.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says federal disaster relief accounts will get a boost of almost $7 billion dollars by the end of the week to help hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

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More than a quarter of all pharmaceutical drugs exported from the USA are made in Puerto Rico. He also said Trump's short-term waiver of the Jones Act was not enough. "But we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don't want the Jones Act lifted, and we have a lot of ships out there right now".

Elaine Duke, acting secretary at the Homeland Security Department, said more than 90 percent of the island now has limited accessibly and 200 gas stations are open. The entire island is in a communications and power blackout, Washingon Post reporters there say: "Estimates for the return of electricity and basic services will be measured not in days but in weeks and months".

Lawmakers, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, had pushed the government to waive the Act.

Waiving restrictions on foreign vessels that carry cargo to Puerto Rico "could overwhelm the system, creating unnecessary backlogs and causing confusion on the distribution of critical supplies throughout the island,"' said Thomas Allegretti, the group's chairman.

"The largest bottleneck is not getting goods to the island, but delivering goods once they arrive", Mr Allegretti added.

But shipping companiesalready have aid and supplies either waiting at the port to be delivered - or held up at ports on the U.S. mainland.

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