Speed Reads

Hurricane Maria

Lawmakers mull expensive relief for hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico

President Trump tweeted Monday night that Puerto Rico is "in deep trouble" while resident commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R) estimated that the cost of damage from Hurricane Maria could be as much as $20 billion, far exceeding Hurricane Irma's estimated $1 billion recovery costs. "U.S. officials say that Puerto Rico faces a longer road to recovery than any other part of the U.S. hit by a hurricane, partly because the island nation needs to ship and fly in equipment and personnel that can simply be trucked in to states like Florida and Texas," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Of primary concern is Puerto Rico's power grid, which requires an expensive overhaul. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who visited the territory, has thrown his support behind recovery efforts and called for Puerto Rico not to "be punished" for the hurricane damage.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) deemed the situation "devastating" and told Gonzalez-Colon he is planning a relief package in October.

Concerns of a humanitarian crisis, though, are immediate: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello told MSNBC's Chris Hayes that just 40 percent of islanders have potable water.