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Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representing the 7th District of New York


Puerto Rico

When she was sworn into Congress in 1993, Congresswoman Velázquez made history as the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. A native of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, the Island and its people have long been dear to her heart. 

In addition, many residents of New York’s 7th District hail from Puerto Rico and have family or other close ties to the Island. From working to solve the Puerto Rican debt crisis to bolstering small businesses on the Island, the Congresswoman has been a longtime champion for Puerto Rico.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Congresswoman Velázquez has been at the forefront of recovery efforts. From traveling to the Island to assess the damage to demanding an immediate supplemental funding package, to calling for a more robust and effective response from the Trump Administration, she is urging Washington to provide swift and sustainable relief aid.

For a list of the relief efforts the Congresswoman is supporting, please click here

The Congresswoman in Sunset Park, Brooklyn organizing relief aid for Hurricane Maria victims. 

More on Puerto Rico

August 8, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) today called on the Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) for Puerto Rico to reconsider austerity measures the panel has targeted to the Island’s healthcare and education programs. 

July 25, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement on the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello:

“We should be clear – it is the people of Puerto Rico who exercised their will to achieve this outcome and hold their own government accountable.  Now that this step has been taken, it is my hope that the Island can at long last turn the page and the American citizens living there will finally be treated with the fairness and decency they deserve. 

July 19, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) commented today on the situation in Puerto Rico:

“I have thought long and hard on the crisis of governance in Puerto Rico, both as a Puerto Rican woman and as a U.S. Member of Congress. I have a profound respect both for the institutions of democracy and for the sovereignty of the Island’s people. 

“I have long held – and continue to believe - that the Governor should be held accountable by the people of Puerto Rico and that they must exercise their power in determining the path forward. 

July 12, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding news that Hector Figueroa had passed:

“I was truly heartbroken to hear of Hector’s passing. Hector was a giant in the labor movement, a tireless voice for the people of Puerto Rico and a passionate advocate for working people everywhere. To me, he was a dear friend, an inspiration and a personified reminder of why we fight. I counted on Hector for wise advice and counsel from my earliest days in New York politics.

July 1, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has led five of her colleagues in writing to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector General, asking that that watchdog investigate why previously approved nutritional assistance funding has not reached Puerto Rico. 

June 25, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C.­­ – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) testified today before the House Judiciary Committee in support of her legislation, the Puerto Rico Recovery Accuracy in Disclosures Act, H.R. H.R. 683. 

Text of her testimony is below and video is online here

June 20, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C.­­ – Today, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) introduced the “Puerto Rico Health Care Fairness, Accountability, and Beneficiary Access Act of 2019,” legislation that would put Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program on a path to parity with other Medicaid programs throughout the United States. 

June 19, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C.­­ – The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment authored by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) aimed at advancing the cleanup of Caño Martín Peña, a 3.7-mile channel in San Juan that has long been plagued with environmental problems. 

June 10, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C.­­ –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) commented today on House passage of Emergency Supplemental appropriations legislation, which includes funding for Puerto Rico.

“While I’m relieved Republicans finally saw reason and allowed this badly needed aid to move forward, it is shameful that it took so long to approve emergency assistance the House approved months ago.  The funding included for Puerto Rico in this bill is desperately needed for our fellow citizens who have suffered tremendously for so long.

May 2, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) commented today on the passing of Rafael Hernández Colón:

            “This morning, Puerto Rico lost one of the giants of its modern political history. Rafael Hernández Colón was a statesman, a brilliant political mind and a tireless fighter for economic and social justice.