Velázquez on Disaster Supplemental Bill
Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding the emergency supplemental appropriations bill for disaster relief:
“Let’s make no mistake, this legislation is just the start of Federal financial support for Puerto Rico. Much more needs to be done, but, for now the bill includes critical measures that the Island needs in the short term to respond to this once-in-a-generation humanitarian crisis. Importantly, in addition to funding emergency assistance from FEMA, the legislation helps address pressing liquidity needs of the Puerto Rican government by providing them with loans to meet a looming cash shortfall. In doing so it is critical that Wall Street creditors are unable to access these federal funds, which are solely intended to help Puerto Ricans begin to rebuild their lives.
“Going forward, Puerto Rico faces a long path to full recovery and we cannot rest until the Island is made whole. I fully expect Congress to provide additional assistance, including rebuilding the energy grid, repairing telecommunications networks and mending the infrastructure system. We must also ensure a long term fix for Puerto Rico’s long ailing Medicaid system, something that was a critical priority before Maria, but is even more important now.
“I thank Leader Pelosi, Ranking Member Lowey and the House Leadership for their work on this initial package. I look forward to working with my colleagues in coming weeks to address Puerto Rico’s longer term needs.”