Krista McNallyOct 4, 2017, 8:49 pmOct 4, 2017, 9:40 pm

Massapequa Park protesters call on government to accelerate relief efforts in Puerto Rico

Advocates demanding permanent repeal of Jones Act to speed up response to island’s crisis

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About a dozen protesters marched in front of Congressman Peter King’s office in Massapequa Park because they are frustrated with the federal government's response following Hurricane Maria.

"We are calling on Congress and FEMA to accelerate the response to this humanitarian crisis," said activist Ricardo Companioni.

Protesters also demanded the congressman to pass a relief and recovery act that includes a permanent repeal of the Jones Act which helps provide faster relief to affected areas.

President Trump temporarily waived the Jones Act to help provide relief for the island trying to recover from Hurricane Maria.

The group wants Puerto Rico's $73 billion debt canceled as well.

"If we can bail out the banks, we can certainly bail out Puerto Rico," Companioni said.

The president visited the island on Tuesday, two weeks after Maria made landfall. On that visit, he praised the work of FEMA and emergency responders there and says federal help has been delivered and is continuing to stream in.

But according to the protesters, it isn't enough.

"Stop saying that everything is lovely and that we are doing a good job and get them to really do a good job," activist Jeanne Grover said.

FiOS1 News reached out to Congressman King’s office for comment and have not yet heard back at this time.

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