White House requests $5B to ease Puerto Rico fiscal crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is asking Congress for $5 billion to ease a fiscal crisis striking the government of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico’s central government and various municipalities and other local governments are suffering unsustainable cash shortfalls as Maria has choked off revenues and strained resources. The administration’s request, sent informally Tuesday, would provide $4.9 billion for Puerto Rico and its local jurisdictions.

The White House also requested $150 million to help Puerto Rico with the 10 percent match required for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief.

The administration asked for $29 billion last week for FEMA disaster relief efforts and federal flood insurance claims.

A senior administration official confirmed Tuesday’s request, requiring anonymity because it is not yet official.

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