U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today joined FEMA Administrator Brock Long, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González on the island to see the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria. After receiving a briefing on recovery efforts at the emergency operations center in San Juan, they surveyed the damage across Puerto Rico by helicopter with the U.S. Coast Guard.
During a briefing at the San Juan Convention Center, Rubio discussed Hurricane Maria recovery efforts. A partial transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below:
RUBIO: On this island live the loved ones of American citizens who gave their lives for our country. On this island live the loved ones and American citizens who at this very moment are risking their lives for the safety and security of our nation. It is our commitment to do everything within our power to ensure that the response to this hurricane is the same as it would be in any other territory or state of this great nation.
This territory, Puerto Rico, has been impacted by not one, but three storms. Irma, ten days later, Maria, and throughout it a fiscal crisis that it continues to confront. It is important for us to respond in appropriate way by providing not just the resources, but the flexibility for local authorities to be able to respond by exploring the possibility of low interest loans for the territory to be able to respond to the significant cost needed for this recovery, and ultimately to rebuild Puerto Rico stronger than ever. If we’re going to rebuild, and we will rebuild, let’s do so in a way that’s modern and resistant, for this will not be the last storm that impacts this island. That is the message we seek to come here and learn more about so that we can return tonight and begin the hard work in Washington to make that happen. It’s our commitment to do everything possible to assist.
Photos courtesy of Congresswoman Jenniffer González’s office.