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

Graham hopes his panel will approve Amy Coney Barrett by late October

Chair Lindsey Graham during a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News Saturday he expects confirmation hearings on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court to start Oct. 12 and for his panel to approve her by Oct. 26.

Why it matters: That would mean the final confirmation vote could take place on the Senate floor before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Texas city declares disaster after brain-eating amoeba found in water supply

Characteristics associated with a case of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri parasites. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Texas authorities have issued a warning amid concerns that the water supply in the southeast of the state may contain the brain-eating amoeba naegleria fowleri following the death of a 6-year-old boy.

Details: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a "do not use" water alert Friday for eight cities, along with the Clemens and Wayne Scott Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections centers and the Dow Chemical plant in Freeport. This was later lifted for all places but one, Lake Jackson, which issued a disaster declaration Saturday.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 32,746,147 — Total deaths: 991,678 — Total recoveries: 22,588,064Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 7,007,450 — Total deaths: 204,486 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
  3. States: New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June — U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.