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A roof in San Juan, Puerto Rico, still shows damage from Hurricane Maria two years ago. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images

FEMA data and records demonstrate "the degree to which the recovery from Hurricanes Maria and Irma on America’s Caribbean islands has been stalled ... leaving the islands’ critical infrastructure in squalor and limbo," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The stalled aid highlights the disconnect between how the federal government can view American citizens in its territories, like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, that lack congressional representation and Electoral College votes versus those on the mainland.

By the numbers, via a Times examination of FEMA's records:

  • In the Caribbean, 190 long-term projects in Puerto Rico have received funding out of 9,000 requests — and only 218 projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands received funding despite 1,500 requests.
  • On the mainland, 3,700 permanent work projects were funded in Texas after 2017's Hurricane Harvey. In that same timespan, 3,700 similar projects were funded in Florida.

The big picture: FEMA officials told the Times that the cause of the stalled funding is rooted in how the federal government funds natural disaster relief efforts.

  • Local governments and charities often start repairs and are then reimbursed by FEMA.
  • The slower economies in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands' economies have rendered them entirely dependent on FEMA aid.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

58 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.