House Democrats Release Puerto Rico Earthquake Supplemental
WASHINGTON — House Democrats, led by House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), today released emergency spending legislation to provide additional support to Puerto Rico following a series of recent earthquakes.
The legislation provides $3.35 billion in assistance to Puerto Rico, with significant funding for educational needs, repairs to transportation infrastructure, and community development activities.
“The Trump administration has finally showed signs of relenting in its attempts to illegally withhold vital aid to Puerto Rico, and must provide the rest of the assistance this Congress has already enacted for the island,” Chairwoman Lowey said. “However, there are still urgent unmet needs on the island that necessitate additional relief. These needs have been compounded by recent earthquakes, which have forced thousands of families from their homes, flattened schools, and severely damaged roads and other infrastructure. House Democrats are taking the lead in proposing emergency disaster legislation to provide families and communities immediate relief and put Puerto Rico on the path to long-term recovery.”
Among its provisions, the emergency supplemental includes:
- $100 million to meet the educational needs of individuals affected by recent disasters and emergencies;
- $1.25 billion for repairs to road systems damaged by recent disasters and emergencies; and
- $2 billion in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds for disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, economic revitalization, and mitigation in the areas most impacted by recent disasters and emergencies.
Additionally, the supplemental allows comingling of funds provided in this legislation and previous emergency supplementals. It also requires the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in consultation with other Federal agencies, to complete the consultation on electrical grid funding for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands within 30 days and to issue a Federal Register notice within 60 days.