Velázquez, Serrano to Oppose Supplemental Hurricane Spending
Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY) released the following statement announcing that they would vote no on the latest round of additional funding for hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida and Texas:
“As we said previously when this measure was unveiled, the funding in this bill is woefully insufficient and it has not improved. The Governor of Puerto Rico previously requested $94 billion for recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and this measure provides only $81 billion to be split between Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. That’s not enough and, if history is any guide, we can expect that the bulk of that money will not reach Puerto Rico, but the other disaster-stricken areas.
“There are other significant shortcomings in this legislation. It fails to provide needed cost sharing waivers for in numerous areas, including FEMA funding and Economic Development Administration funding. Without such provisions, we are asking an Island that was already facing fiscal insolvency before the Hurricane to pay for recovery efforts it cannot afford. The legislation does nothing to address the Medicaid cliff.
“Hurricane Maria visited on Puerto Rico a once-in-a-generation humanitarian crisis. Making the Island whole will take years, not months, and requires a long term commitment by the federal government. This bill fails that test, fails Puerto Rico, and we cannot support it. We will continue pushing for additional aid and a bill that allocates resources commensurate to the severity of the situation in Puerto Rico. Anything less is unacceptable.”