President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that his administration has given Puerto Rico $91 billion in relief funds after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island in 2017. But a new report maintains that the island has received only $12.6 billion, NBC News reported.
According to data analyzed by Puerto Rico’s top research think tank, the Center for a New Economy (CNE), the administration has allocated $42.3 billion to the island through 17 different government agencies to fund specific programs. That doesn’t mean Puerto Rico has received this amount, however.
Allocated funds live in a separate global appropriations account until the government makes a legally liable commitment to use the money. Nearly half of the allocated funds — about $20.4 billion — have been obligated toward disaster assistance programs and hurricane education recovery efforts, among other services. Only $12.6 billion has been disbursed to Puerto Rico out of the total amount that was obligated.
The $91 billion that Trump continuously tweets about and brings up at his 2020 presidential campaign rallies is an estimate of the amount that could be allotted to Puerto Rico over the next two decades.