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
Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding legislation in Puerto Rico that would alter the Island’s Civil Code, which passed the legislature Thursday:
WASHINGTON, May 13 –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced the Equitable Nutrition Assistance for the Territories Act of 2020 today to ensure that in the face of the economic, public-health, and food-security crises posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the people of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa receive equal access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Velázquez-Led Letter Seeks Nutritional Help, Medicaid Fix, Greater Tax Credits for Island
Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez released the following statement regarding Small Business Administration lending programs and Puerto Rico:
“Puerto Rico’s economy was already struggling before COVID-19. Decades of neglect followed by historic hurricanes and recent earthquakes had already made a tough situation worse. Now, with the Island on lockdown in response to COVID-19, businesses, families and workers are suffering even more.
Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding reports that the Puerto Rico government was denying journalists access to government coronavirus briefings: “A free, independent press is the hallmark of any democracy and actions by the Puerto Rican government to prevent journalists from covering its response to COVID-19 are shameful. During crises, such as a pandemic, it is more important, not less, that the public be fully informed and that the media be able to report unadulterated facts, while holding the government accountable for its actions.
Washington, DC – U.S. Members of Congress wrote the Puerto Rico Department of Education today, urging the agency to ramp up distribution of school meals to low-income students. While the Island and its school system have been on lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly a month, meals have not been distributed to students. On April 7, the Department announced it would partner with local nonprofits to distribute meals to children. However, few details on how that plan will be executed have been released.
Mother of Recently Deceased Vieques Girl to Attend Speech
Washington, DC – Led by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), thirteen Members of Congress have written the Fiscal Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, calling for it to amend the fiscal plan for the Island’s Power Authority. Citing the earthquakes that struck Puerto Rico in late December and earlier this month, the lawmakers contend that the Puerto Rico Electrical Power Authority’s Fiscal Plan needs to be changed to take into account lost capacity and the economic affects of the earthquakes.
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.