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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 be 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.

You can find the Congresswoman discussing these relief efforts on CNN and MSNBC.

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

June 15, 2018 Press Release

 Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the top Democrat on the House Small Business Committee, today wrote to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), requesting an extension for the application period for those seeking federal loans to recover from Hurricane Maria.  

June 14, 2018 Press Release

“9/11 Style” Panel Would Examine Death Toll, Federal Response

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY); Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), the Ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced legislation to establish a “9/11-style” independent commission to investigate the federal response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico. 

June 11, 2018 Press Release

Introduce Bicameral Legislation to Study How Fatalities are Determined after Natural Disaster 

May 29, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC- Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) commented today on a new analysis by Harvard University that suggests the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico could exceed 4,000 people:

May 24, 2018 Press Release

Measures Incorporated into Larger Defense Package

Washington, DC – As part of the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved three amendments authored by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).  The Velázquez-authored provisions will help businesses in Puerto Rico by incentivizing federal agencies to award them contracts, focus federal resources on environmental problems in Vieques and help New York businesses that are looking to transition into employee ownership. 

May 23, 2018 Press Release

Strengthen their Call that Education Disaster Relief Process is Unfair to Island

Lawmakers Press Secretary DeVos to Explain Why Institutions Close Ties to the Trump Administration Have Received Federal Disaster Funding but Failed to Provide Data on the Number of Displaced Students

May 23, 2018 Press Release

Requests Public Hearings, Extension of Public Comment Period

Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has written to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Carson calling for greater public input and transparency in the allocation of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBGR) funds.  

In her letter, Velázquez notes that HUD’s current two-week timeframe for public comment on the agency’s plan for use of this funding would be insufficient to ensure robust community input.

May 22, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) commented today on S.2155, a bill that would roll back many elements of the Dodd-Frank Act.  While Velázquez opposes S.2155 overall, she noted she was pleased the bill includes her legislation, the U.S. Territories Investor Protection Act. 

February 6, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) commented today on a report in the New York Times regarding FEMA rewarding and then voiding a contract for emergency food delivery in Puerto Rico to a one-person firm with a history of previous botched contracts:

February 1, 2018 Press Release
Washington, DC –Following the Governor’s announcement to privatize the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY) wrote today to Governor Ricardo Rosselló requesting additional details on the plan, including assurances on affordable rates and reliable service.