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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

June 30, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has released the following opening statement as prepared for delivery at today's House Natural Resources Committee legislative hearing on issues related to the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico.
            "Good afternoon Chairman Grijalva and members of this Committee. From the 1940s until 2003, the US Navy used Vieques as a training ground for war, pummeling the island with bombs in the name of military exercises.

June 8, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY) and Rep.

April 20, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representative Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have unveiled legislation that would help Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa gain more equitable access to federal programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, and popular tax credits.

March 18, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.Today, U.S. Representatives Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), introduced the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021, bicameral and bipartisan legislation that would empower Puerto Ricans with an inclusive and democratic process to determine their own political future and relationship with the United States.

March 11, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C—Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has reintroduced the “Puerto Rico Health Care Fairness, Accountability, and Beneficiary Access Act,” legislation that would put Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program on a path to parity with Medicaid programs in U.S. states.

February 23, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC - Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has introduced the “Puerto Rico Recovery Accuracy in Disclosures Act of 2021.” Known as PRRADA, the bill would extend current U.S. law to require disclosures of conflicts of interest in all PROMESA bankruptcy proceedings in Puerto Rico, and thereby improve transparency and restore confidence in the island’s future. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has introduced a companion bill in the U.S. Senate.

February 17, 2021 Press Release

Congresswoman is Joined by Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Grijalva, Soto, and R. Torres

December 8, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) issued the following statement after the House today passed legislation she authored, HR. 683, The Puerto Rico Recovery Accuracy in Disclosures Act of 2019:

“I am proud that today the House passed my bill to close a loophole in the Island’s debt restructuring process, improve transparency, and restore confidence in the island’s future.

October 26, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) issued the following statement on the passing of Judge Juan R. Torruella of the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals:

            “Today, we lost a giant of our legal system, a trailblazer, a native son of San Juan, and a fierce defender of Puerto Rico. Judge Torruella has made Puerto Ricans living on the Island and on the Mainland proud through a distinguished career as the first Puerto Rican judge to serve on the U.S. First Circuit.

October 7, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C.— Today, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), released the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement of the appointment of Justin Peterson to serve on the Financial Management and Oversight Board of Puerto Rico:


            “Once again, the President is using his powers to undermine the interests of the people of Puerto Rico. Just weeks before the election, Trump has made an appointment that could impact the lives of Puerto Ricans for decades.