Puerto Rico Gains Alaskan Ally in Pursuit of Relief Funds

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - It's been two months since Hurricane Irma struck the United States, and many are still recovering in what has been estimated as one of the most expensive storms in US history.
While many states are in the process of rebuilding, the territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are having more difficulty.
Many representatives have been pushing for funding of Puerto Rico's recovery, but one of the loudest voices is an Alaskan.
Andrew Hawkins reports for CBS.

Governor Ricardo Rossello; Puerto Rico>>"Historically, we have certainly been treated unequally over the past hundred years. There should be no doubt about that."

Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello testified before Congress on Monday on behalf of his people. Governor Rossello has voiced his displeasure with the United States before about many issues, including Puerto Rico's lack of representation in Congress, the ability to vote for president, and statehood.
The 49th state has historically backed Puerto Rico's fight for statehood-

Rep. Don Young; (R) Alaska>>"I say it's time for congress to act to make Puerto Rico as a people to do so, a state, the 51st state of this union. Thank you Mr. Governor."

But with the resent devastation, Governor Rossello's lobbying has been focused on rebuilding the territory. Through this, he has gained another Alaskan ally.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski; (R) Alaska>>"And so the damage that we're seeing today may not be the damage we're dealing with in days and weeks from now knowing that more can happen."

Senator Lisa Murkowski chaired the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee yesterday, advocating for Puerto Rico relief funds. Early this month, Senator Murkowski led a congressional delegation visit to Puerto Rico to evaluate the damage.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski; (R) Alaska>>"But in Puerto Rico where we were. Schools were not open. Schools were not open and have not been open for 2 months now."

Governor Rossello says the US has been more responsive than in the past-

Governor Ricardo Rossello; Puerto Rico>>"But from the storm onwards, you know, I have said the White House has responded to all of our requests."

But his latest request is for $94.4 billion dollars, $33 billion dollars greater than what Texas is asking for.
One main reason for the vast difference in pursued relief funds is Puerto Rico's aging infrastructure.
Many Puerto Ricans are still without power. Senator Murkowski has expressed she wants to implement a resilient electric grid.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski; (R) Alaska>>"Puerto Rico's electric grid was already antiquated before the storms hit. So you really have the ask the question, why, why would we rebuild it to that standard?"

While it remains unclear if Senator Murkowski supports the entire amount requested, Alaska's representatives are once again standing behind Puerto Rico.
This is Andrew Hawkins reporting.