Nov 19, 2018

Democrats to Trump: Halting Puerto Rico relief funds is "unacceptable"

President Donald Trump speaks with Gov. Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Getty Images

Eight Democratic members of Congress, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Raúl Grijalva and Nydia Velázquez, have written a letter to President Trump saying that cutting off relief funds to Puerto Rico is "unacceptable" and would have a "catastrophic effect on the Island’s already fragile recovery."

Why it matters: Trump has told senior officials that he would like to retract some of the federal funds Congress has already set aside for Puerto Rico's disaster recovery, Axios' Jonathan Swan reported earlier this month. This is mainly due to Trump's belief that the funds are being used to pay back debt (there is no evidence of this). The members noted in their letter that they would work with Trump to "ensure this never occurs."

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House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

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