During its 15th public meeting today, the Federal Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) voted unanimously to certify a fiscal plan to govern the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The board, created under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Security Act (PROMESA), also certified a fiscal plan for the University of Puerto Rico. Upon passage of the plans, FOMB members lamented that comprehensive reforms will be needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of Puerto Rico’s economy and public finances.
The meeting lasted several hours, but it is the Tweets that followed that captured the interest of a national audience.
“The people of Puerto Rico are wonderful but the inept politicians are trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay off other obligations. The U.S. will NOT bail out long outstanding & unpaid obligations with hurricane relief money!” tweeted President Trump.
Trump’s tweet prompted a few other tweets of note. Rossello replied that he agreed with the President and asserted “that’s why I’m opposing “the Oversight Board’s outrageous plan that would severely hamper Puerto Rico’s recovery and growth,” although his administration has not said how the plan would do so and the Board conceded to the Governor on the major issues in dispute.
The leading national Democratic voice for the disaster assistance, Rep. Velazquez (D-NY) joined the Twitter debate declaring that “Even” Trump “recognizes we can’t allow creditors to siphon money that should help the people of Puerto Rico.” Characterizing the Trump Administration’s response to the disaster as “feeble,” she added that she was going to “keep fighting to ensure our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico get the aid they need.”
Later, the President’s former Homeland Security Adviser —who oversaw the Trump Administration’s response to Hurricane Maria —Tom Bossert, sent out his own tweet. It read, “ I’ve cautioned consistently that the Puerto Rico Oversight Board NOT be allowed to govern Puerto Rico’s recovery. The Governor must govern, and be held accountable. The Board has an inherent conflict. @realDonaldTrump and @ricardorossello are on the same page—the right page.”