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Puerto Rico governor calls out Washington on 'equal treatment'

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Tuesday called on US leaders not to harm the territory's hurricane recovery effo...

Posted: Dec 20, 2017 12:42 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2017 12:42 PM

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Tuesday called on US leaders not to harm the territory's hurricane recovery efforts through tax reform or year-end funding decisions, reminding Washington that Puerto Ricans are US citizens and "deserve equal treatment."

"I recognize this is the ninth inning, but in this discussion of the supplemental, this is an opportunity to set things straight," Rossello said at a news conference at his residence in Old San Juan.

He was responding to a question about a provision of the tax reform bill that he says would harm Puerto Rico's recovery.

The measure would tax companies that shift money offshore; this would affect Puerto Rico's economy because the territory, whose residents are US citizens, is treated largely as a foreign jurisdiction for tax purposes.

Rossello said lawmakers have an opportunity to make things right while they debate disaster recovery money as part of a year-end funding measure this week.

"The supplemental does present an opportunity to talk about tax considerations," Rossello said, flanked by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who were visiting the island for the day.

"And what I have asked the leadership, again, today is to use the supplemental, and in their tax section recognize that this base erosion component of the tax bill, it is just ludicrous to consider Puerto Rico a part of it," he said. "Puerto Rico is part of the United States, so how can you apply the base erosion provision to Puerto Rico if the goal is to create US jobs?"

Rossello also pleaded for flexibility in how disaster aid will be distributed to the territory and noted that his sole representative in Congress can't compete with the delegations of disaster-hit states this year.

"There needs to be language that specifies how some of this money goes to Puerto Rico," the governor said of disaster money. "We are competing with Texas, we are competing with Florida, we are competing with California, big states with a lot of representation, putting Puerto Rico at a significant disadvantage."

Rossello did say after his meeting with Nielsen and Carson that he felt they understood.

"Both secretaries are committed to helping Puerto Rico. They recognize that Puerto Ricans are US citizens and deserve equal treatment," Rossello said.

Carson echoed Rossello's desire not to let "red tape" get in the way of relief.

"We do recognize that the situation is different here than it is in Texas or Florida or many other places," Carson said. "And we're quite willing to look at the regulatory burden and present appropriate waivers and changes, because we want to look at the goals, not at the rules; that's what bureaucrats do."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749532

Reported Deaths: 13746
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030911775
Lake554681006
Allen41636691
St. Joseph36947564
Hamilton36527416
Elkhart29363459
Tippecanoe22862225
Vanderburgh22542400
Porter19331325
Johnson18405388
Hendricks17588317
Clark13200193
Madison13120344
Vigo12604253
LaPorte12394221
Monroe12163175
Delaware10947198
Howard10263225
Kosciusko9614119
Hancock8549144
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7772180
Grant7229179
Wayne7155201
Boone6917103
Morgan6736141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6206116
Cass5991108
Henry5894108
Dearborn588978
Noble580186
Jackson508674
Shelby500897
Lawrence4732121
Gibson444093
Harrison440773
Clinton440055
DeKalb438785
Montgomery434690
Whitley406042
Huntington402281
Steuben399259
Miami392768
Jasper386954
Knox375790
Putnam372160
Wabash360583
Ripley346570
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White330253
Daviess3031100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284864
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269955
Clay265848
Washington244934
Randolph244683
Jennings235149
Spencer234231
Starke227558
Fountain218647
Sullivan213943
Owen211058
Fulton201542
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175726
Vermillion173644
Franklin170235
Tipton165846
Parke149016
Pike138034
Blackford136132
Pulaski120247
Newton112736
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton101014
Martin91515
Warren83615
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107225

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1285061459
Cuyahoga1156322204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524951040
Summit48356999
Lucas43309817
Butler38903603
Stark33297929
Lorain25641502
Warren24558303
Mahoning22332601
Lake21139385
Clermont20098252
Delaware18819135
Licking16649222
Fairfield16564204
Trumbull16527479
Medina15597270
Greene15256246
Clark14223306
Wood13281197
Portage13229214
Allen11903239
Richland11598211
Miami10837223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9023230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8652122
Tuscarawas8639247
Marion8635138
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7139179
Hancock6996131
Ross6934161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6530104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5723102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5437125
Darke5415129
Seneca5344126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501687
Mercer487285
Shelby476295
Knox4568112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4334103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387377
Preble3847103
Clinton378566
Ottawa372781
Highland359465
Williams347878
Champaign343858
Guernsey324253
Jackson317554
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285350
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268459
Van Wert247264
Adams242956
Pike242735
Gallia240550
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196948
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113738
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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