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Trump only approved 75 out of 2000 requests for funeral assistance for Puerto Rico — then called it an ‘unsung success’

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President Donald Trump said relief efforts to Hurricane Maria in Purto Rico were successful even though his administration failed to help thousands of people.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved 75 out of 2000 requests for funeral assistance after Hurricane Maria hit, according to a report from Buzzfeed news.

FEMA officials noted that they were unable to provide further assistance because victims lack proper death certificates due to the governments not counting the deceased.

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Even after the death toll increased, individual families were not able to receive a death certificate because individuals deaths were not accounted for.

“It should be a gut punch to all of us that thousands of our fellow U.S. citizens died due to Hurricane Maria and its aftermath. For months, I’ve pushed the Trump Administration about its role in, and acceptance of, an inaccurate fatality count,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren told BuzzFeed News.

She added, “We need to know how the Administration has updated its disaster planning in response to the new death toll and ensure that grieving Puerto Rican families receive long-awaited federal funeral assistance.”

The funeral assistance would have helped families pay for caskets, mortuary services, burial plots, and cremations.

FEMA director Brock Long said it was not the agencies responsibility to count the dead. “The determination of cause and manner of death is the sole responsibility of the state or territory’s cause-of-death certifier,” Long wrote in a letter to Democrats.

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“The Trump administration utterly failed the people of Puerto Rico, and we have to make sure what happened there never happens again. We’re in the midst of a potentially devastating hurricane season, and FEMA needs accurate statistics to deal with upcoming crises,” Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ 3rd District) said.


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Mitch McConnell may let Republicans write Senate impeachment rules without Democratic votes

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is plotting to shut out Democrats on impeachment if a bipartisan compromise on rules for the trial can't be reached.

The Kentucky Republican said this week that he hopes to reach an agreement on rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he's also readying a "backup plan" in case he can't reach an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, reported Vanity Fair.

“The first thing Sen. Schumer and I will do is see if there’s a possibility of agreement on a procedure,” McConnell said. “That failing, I would probably come back to my own members and say, ‘Okay, can 51 of us agree how we’re going to handle this?’”

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Fresno Bee burns Nunes to the ground in scathing editorial

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The editorial board of the Fresno Bee has written a scathing takedown of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his extraordinary fealty to President Donald Trump, which the editors say is harming the country.

Specifically, the editorial accuses Nunes of forsaking his oath of office as a congressman to serve as Trump's most loyal toady on the House Intelligence Committee.

"As has been true for nearly all of Trump’s first term, Nunes has relinquished his proper role as an independent representative of Congress and has instead acted like a member of the Trump 2020 re-election team," the editorial states.

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Republicans blundered badly as their own impeachment expert witness wrecked their defenses of Trump: columnist

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Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee pinned their hopes on George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, their sole expert witness on the panel at the hearing on Wednesday, to discredit the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump.

But as anti-Trump conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote for the Washington Post, even Turley's testimony ended up damaging the GOP more than Democrats, because he undercut one of the GOP's most solid narratives in defense of the president: that trying to extort Ukraine with military aid would not be impeachable even if it was proven.

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