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From our Expert Voices conversation on Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico requires extensive assistance from the federal government, starting with a waiver of matching requirements for FEMA programs. The local economy simply will not be able to generate the necessary tax revenues.

Now is also the time for Congress to pass a long-term waiver of the Jones Act, end the Medicaid policies that treat Puerto Rico differently from states and cap total reimbursement, and issue a Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery to rebuild infrastructure, housing and businesses and implement coastal resiliency programs.

Further down the line, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has to be reformed. As a public monopoly, PREPA is inefficient, subject to political influences in decision-making and governed by the interests of bondholders. It is imperative to promote the development of a smart grid and to modernize the transmission system, in addition to encouraging alternative sources of energy.

Last, Congress should heed the recommendations of its own Task Force on Economic Growth for Puerto Rico: equal treatment for the island under the Child Tax Credit (CTC) program, an extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit and support for business development.

The bottom line: It is time for Congress to act before the humanitarian crisis facing 3.4 million American citizens reaches a point of no return.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

What's really going on with the labor market

Source: YCharts

The labor market is showing some signs of improvement: Jobless claims fell to 730,000 — a dramatic drop from 841,000 the previous week. And the latest jobs report showed a pandemic-era low unemployment rate of 6.3%

But, but, but: That's not the full story, experts say.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Markets see rare convergence milestone

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

A milestone was reached in the markets Thursday: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to match the dividend yield on the S&P 500

Why it matters: The two yields have been inverted since the beginning of last year, which is historically unusual.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

First look: Business puts muscle behind Biden

Business Roundtable, the voice of America's top CEOs, today launched "Move the Needle," a campaign to support President Biden in rolling out COVID vaccines, increasing vaccine uptake and encouraging masks.

What they're saying: "Masks and vaccines are working. Now is the time to keep at it, overcome pandemic fatigue, and double down on the measures that will end this public health and economic crisis, said Business Roundtable president and CEO Josh Bolten.