Dec 18, 2019

Trump cut Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico in budget deal

Photo: ERIC ROJAS/AFP via Getty Images.

President Trump slashed Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico during budget negotiations on a federal spending deal put forth in Congress this week, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Puerto Rico is now slated to receive $5.7 billion in Medicaid funds over two years, rather than $12 billion over four years earmarked by a House subcommittee. The island's Medicaid program has been consistently on the brink of nonexistence and relying on short-term funding extensions.

Background: The $12 billion funding plan had been previously backed by both Republicans and Democrats.

What they're saying: A White House spokesperson called the agreement a "win for President Trump and the American people," per Politico.

Between the lines: Puerto Rico has been a frequent target of Trump throughout his presidency.

  • Following Hurricane Maria in 2017, devastating conditions on the island led to calls for funding, which Trump argues he overwhelmingly met. Puerto Ricans said they continued to struggle and were in need of assistance to recover.

Go deeper: How little we know about Puerto Rico's economy

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Obama urges help for Puerto Rico after back-to-back quakes

Former President Obama speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago in October. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Obama tweeted an appeal Sunday for people to support Puerto Rico's recovery following a series of earthquakes that have rocked the island, killing at least one person.

Why it matters: Puerto Rico's governor declared a state of emergency last Tuesday. President Trump has approved a federal disaster declaration request after two earthquakes measuring magnitudes of 6.4 and 5.8 struck — displacing many people and leaving much of the island without power. Aftershocks have since hit, and there was a magnitude 5.2 quake Friday.

Go deeper: In photos: Puerto Rico in state of emergency after back-to-back quakes

Keep ReadingArrowJan 13, 2020

More earthquakes hit Puerto Rico, as island remains in fear

Siblings in a Guanica, Puerto Rico parking lot on Jan. 9 after a powerful earthquake hit the island. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on Saturday around 8:54 a.m., about 8 miles south of Indios, marking the most powerful tremor since a magnitude 6.4 quake hit the island on Tuesday, according to the United States Geological Survey.

What's happening: Multiple intermittent earthquakes affected the island on Friday and into Saturday morning, including a 5.2 magnitude earthquake Friday following quakes earlier this week that killed at least one person, caused widespread power outages and displaced nearly 2,000 people.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 11, 2020

Trump signs $1.37 trillion spending deal, averting federal shutdown

President Trump on Dec. 19. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening signed a $1.37 trillion spending measure to avoid a government shutdown, according to CNBC.

Why it matters: Unlike last year, when the U.S. government shut down for 35 days from December through January, Trump was willing to accept less funding than he originally requested for the U.S.-Mexico border. He wanted $8 billion for the wall, but Congress only fulfilled $1.375 billion for fence construction, according to NPR.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019