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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

August 9, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC - Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding news reports that the Puerto Rican government has acknowledged a hurricane death toll of 1,427:

July 13, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) commented today on the release of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 2017 Hurricane Season After-Action Report:

July 10, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, three key federal lawmakers wrote to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), calling for the utility to incorporate renewable energy sources as the beleaguered Island’s energy production and distribution systems are modernized.  

June 27, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has authored legislation to make federal food benefits in Puerto Rico available as cash immediately in the event of another major natural disaster.  Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, all of Puerto Rico lost access to electricity and telecommunications, resulting in widespread challenges for those looking to access Nutritional Assistance Program (NAP) benefits, which are currently distributed electronically.    

June 18, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the top Democrat on the House Small Business Committee, today wrote the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), requesting that the agency continue processing late applications for economic injury and physical damage loans related to Hurricane Maria.   The window to apply for loans to assist with property damage expires today, while the application period for economic injury loans closes Wednesday, June 20th. 

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.