SAN ANTONIO — It was supposed to be a celebratory moment for Puerto Ricans celebrating the end of a devastating hurricane season.
Instead, the federal government is planning to spend $7.5 billion to help rebuild Puerto Rico.
The money, announced Monday in the White House Rose Garden, is a significant expansion of the Puerto Rico National Guard’s role in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
But some of the most controversial details of the $7 billion disaster relief plan were left out of the budget document released to Congress Monday.
Here are the key takeaways.
The budget includes an $8.6 billion increase for the Puerto Rican National Guard to help combat the “fiscal cliff” of sequestration cuts.
This is a big deal because it will be the first of several $10 billion increases over the next several years.
The Trump administration initially pledged to give the Guard a $2.2 billion boost to help it combat sequestration.
This deal has been criticized by lawmakers and advocates for Puerto Rican independence and a growing chorus of Democrats, including Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who are calling for the $2 billion to be phased out over time.
In an early-morning tweet Monday, Manchin called the deal a “major victory for Puerto and for the U.S. taxpayers.”
He said the new aid will be “a significant boost” for the Guard.
In his own budget speech last week, Manchinson called for the National Guard budget to be raised $8 billion in 2019 and $8,000 in 2020.
He also said the Guard’s funding should be $7,500 per person by 2021.
The president’s request for $7 million is $2,500 higher than what Congress approved last year.
This increase would be offset by an $800 million cut to the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard has received less funding over the past decade than the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The budget also includes an increase of $1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security.
The administration has already proposed a $6 billion infusion for the DHS, which has a large part of its budget tied to protecting the U-Haul cargo ship and ferrying the Navy’s USS John C. Stennis and USS Ponce in the Gulf of Mexico.
This $6.5-billion increase would go toward funding the Homeland Security and Counterterrorism programs.
The White House also announced the creation of a FEMA program to train the Guard to respond to natural disasters.
This new program, called Disaster Assistance Response, is separate from the Homeland Defense program.
The program is intended to train National Guard troops to be deployed to assist local emergency management efforts.
The National Guard is expected to spend about $10 million on training and equipment over the course of the year.
This program is aimed at helping states provide training to local emergency response agencies and to train other agencies on disaster preparedness and disaster response.
But the Trump Administration is also expanding the training and certification process for Guard members and providing training for private businesses.
Training for the federal Guard is also expected to increase.
For instance, the Trump White House is moving forward with a $3 billion contract to train 1,000 Guard members to respond in an emergency.
That’s an increase from $2 million the Guard previously offered.
The National Guard also is seeking additional training for state and local governments.
The White’s plan also includes a $5.2 million grant to help states prepare for natural disasters, including disaster preparedry and disaster management.
This grant is aimed to assist states in the fight against catastrophic weather.
Trump’s budget also included a $1.9 billion boost for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
This money will be used to increase the FEMA budget to $6,800 per person over the coming year.
The Trump Administration also announced a $742 million increase for FEMA’s disaster preparedneses budget.
The amount is intended for disaster response, flood mitigation and disaster recovery.