It is January 2018 And More Than Half of Puerto Rico is Still Without Power: How This Could Severely Effect Midterm Elections.
By Alexis Alex
In the first official figures released by the Puerto Rican government since Hurricane Maria hit, the statistics are far from satisfying. The unfortunate truth is that more than three months after Hurricane Maria hit on September 20th, about 660,000 out of 1.5 million power customers across Puerto Rico are still without power. Governor Richardo Rosselló promised in October that 95 percent of island's power would be restored by December 15th, but the US Army Corps of Engineers estimated that full power should be restored by May of this year. The Crops reported the reason reconnection efforts have been slow is because of the Puerto Rico's rough terrain, lack of supplies, and aging infrastructure that has been neglected due to the island's 11 year recession. To be honest, this sounds like an excuse because Trump has not cleared enough money and supplies for the corps to restore the power quickly. It has also been discovered that 90 percent of industries and 75 percent of businesses already have power, clearly showing the prioritization of industry over Puerto Rican residents.
Also, out of discontent with the passing of the GOP tax bill, Governor of Puerto Rico Richardo Russelló reveals that he is intent on mobilizing the 5.3 million Puerto Ricans living in the mainland U.S. to change the political landscape and vote against the Republicans during the midterm elections next year. The governor expresses that Puerto Ricans will be able to sway congressional district votes in swing states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. This has the potential to be very damaging to the Republicans if the governor follows through on his plans. Prior to the passing of the tax bill, the Governor expressed that the tax bill would hurt Puerto Rico's ailing economy and stagnate their progress because it strikes down tax manufacturing rules that allowed Puerto Rican businesses to have both foreign and domestic status. As a result, businesses in Puerto Rico now have to operate the same as those operating outside of the US, meaning they will see their taxes increase at a 12.5 percent on intellectual property. This is particularly damaging considering Puerto Rican business are still recovering from the storm, which shows the Republicans are not serious about helping Puerto Rico recover if they are passing bills that will directly hurt its economy. Will the Governor follow through on his promises to make the Republicans pay? We will soon find out.