EIGHTEEN MONTHS after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the federal government continues in its failure to adequately take care of the island’s needs. The latest indignity to residents who have yet to fully recover from damage caused by the hurricane and the government’s pathetic response is a sudden cut to food-stamp benefits. Congressional neglect and animus from the administration are responsible for hardships that would never be tolerated if the American citizens being harmed lived on the mainland and not in a U.S. territory that lacks voting representation in Washington.

About 43 percent of Puerto Rico’s residents have seen cutbacks to their food-stamp assistance because Congress missed the deadline for reauthorization of additional aid that had been provided in the wake of Maria. A searing report by The Post’s Jeff Stein and Josh Dawsey detailed the impacts of the cuts: HIV patients made to sit in soiled diapers that health-care workers can’t afford to replace, families forgoing meat and vegetables, worrying if they can afford milk and eating less. A significant portion of those receiving food stamps, research shows, are children, elderly or disabled. “It’s very hard. It is so unfair. That cut is going to kill us,” said the administrator of a clinic that treats HIV-positive men with severe health complications.

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