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Hullabaloo


Thursday, September 28, 2017

 
Meanwhile they're all flying around on private jets and military aircraft for free

by digby

























Hard to believe, but true:
People evacuated by the U.S. from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico must sign promissory notes ensuring they fully repay transportation costs to the Defense Department, according to the State Department.

Evacuees from Dominica and other countries hit by the hurricanes also must sign the promissory notes, though their repayments would go through the State Department.

The notes fall under a longstanding but discretionary policy meant to ensure that evacuees pay transportation costs, which are based on “the price of the last commercial one-way, full-fare (not discounted) economy ticket prior to the crisis.”

Marketwatch first reported that the evacuees from Puerto Rico were required to put up the promissory notes.
It is unclear how many people have been evacuated on military flights from Puerto Rico, which has been hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the last three weeks.

A State Department source said 225 people had been evacuated from Dominica. The source confirmed there had been evacuees from Puerto Rico, but could not provide a number.

According to the State Department's website, the policy applies to all evacuees who boarded U.S. government aircraft or other vehicles to evacuate.

It's possible that promissory notes could be waived.

Some promissory notes for people evacuated from Dominica were waived due to medical emergencies, for example, a State Department spokesman said.

It's not clear if any waivers have been issued for evacuees from Puerto Rico, who would be overseen by the Department of Defense.

People who sign the promissory notes are effectively taking out a loan from the U.S. government. The loans, according to State's website, are managed "by the Comptroller and Global Financial Services office in Charleston, South Carolina."

A note on the State Department's website says that due to "ongoing emergencies," State is not accepting repayments on the loans right now.

"Currently, loan repayments cannot be completed due to ongoing emergencies in the region. We will update travel.state.gov/evacuate as soon as repayments can be made," the State Department says.

Limits are placed on the passports of evacuees who sign the notes, the State Department's website says.

“Upon evacuation, a Department of State official must limit an evacuee’s passport. In order to obtain a new passport, an evacuee must arrange payment as agreed upon via the promissory note," the website reads.

The Trump administration has faced criticism from Democrats about the pace of relief efforts in Puerto Rico. The island is without power, and many of the territory's 3.4 million inhabitants are without clean drinking water.

Trump has vowed that his administration would receive high marks for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

“We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico,” Trump said Tuesday. “But the difference is this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. It’s a big ocean, it’s a very big ocean. And we’re doing a really good job.”

Trump on Thursday [finally]mlifted shipping restrictions on relief efforts to Puerto Rico, allowing non-U.S. owned and crewed ships to deliver aid to the island.
Goldman Sachs millionaire is on TV right now pimping his tax cut plan. All the networks are covering it.

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