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Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representing the 7th District of New York

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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

January 15, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding news reports that the Trump Administration would lift a hold on long delayed disaster relief funds for Puerto Rico from the Department of Housing and Urban Development:

“While it is a welcome development that the Administration has released its hold on these funds, this step is inexcusably overdue. Congress approved this disaster relief almost two years ago and these ongoing delays speak to the Administration’s disdain for the people of Puerto Rico.

January 14, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have led more than forty Members of Congress in calling for a meeting with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in light of the agency’s ongoing refusal to release previously approved disaster relief funds.  The letter notes that following earthquakes that struck Puerto Rico last week and over the weekend, the Island needs all the help it can get. However, HUD has refused to release funds that Congress approved as early as 2018 in response to Hurricane Maria.

January 7, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC -- With earthquakes causing significant physical damage to Puerto Rico and widespread power outages, Members of Congress today wrote the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Ben Carson, urging the agency to release previously approved funds that Congress provided in response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

January 7, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding the earthquakes that struck Puerto Rico this morning:

“All the people of Puerto Rico, our fellow American citizens, should know that Americans everywhere are praying for them.

December 17, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) commented today on two pieces of appropriations legislation that were voted on in the House of Representatives:

“The domestic spending bill that the House approved today contained a number of Democratic priorities important to the working people of New York and to our nation overall. 

December 16, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) commented on provisions in the appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2020 that are expected to provide matching funds for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program:

November 15, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC –The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation authored by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) that would help companies operating in Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories to export their products abroad.  Velázquez’s legislation, the Office of Territorial Exporting Act, passed as part of H.R. 4863, House Democrats’ larger bill to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. 

November 12, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding legislation being considered in Puerto Rico that would alter the Island’s Civil Code and modify its electoral processes:

“These are bad pieces of legislation and the legislature should reject them. If they pass, the Governor should veto them. 

October 31, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC –The House Financial Services Committee has approved legislation authored by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) that would help companies operating in Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories to export their products abroad.  Passed as part of a larger bill reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, her measure would establish a new office aimed at conducing outreach and education to exporting businesses, helping ensure they can access financial assistance offered by the Bank.

October 29, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has led more than two dozen Members of Congress in writing to the Administrator and a Regional Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling on the Agency to withdraw an alarming proposal to roll back federal safeguards for coal ash waste piles and construction fillers.