U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Maj. Gen. Donald E. Jackson told Senate lawmakers on Tuesday that some Puerto Rico officials have refused to cooperate with the military and the Federal Emergency Management Agency during ongoing recovery efforts.
"We've run into some really interesting politics within the 78 municipalities that make up Puerto Rico in terms of how they are allowing us to gain access," Jackson, the deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee when asked about debris cleanup efforts.
"We're in some significant negotiations. Many of the municipalities have come back and said 'we don't really want you to do it, we'll take care of it ourselves,'" Jackson added.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who asked Jackson how local officials were receiving FEMA, asked Jackson to submit a list of the jurisdictions that are not working with FEMA and defense officials "so that we can figure out how to get some cooperation."