Lowey, Price Statement on Long Overdue Disaster Funding for Puerto Rico

January 15, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Price (D-NC) released the following statement after the Trump administration announced that they would no longer delay disaster recovery aid for Puerto Rico:

“It’s been 704 days since Congress appropriated disaster recovery funding for Puerto Rico to help our fellow Americans recover from devastating hurricanes. After broken promises, blown deadlines, and the illegal withholding of the Federal Register notice, HUD announced today that Puerto Ricans will finally have the opportunity to access the aid they so desperately need.

“As appropriators, we have fought for the release of the aid by questioning Secretary Carson, establishing a legal deadline for agency action, conducting an oversight hearing with HUD officials and the Inspector General, and withholding money from the Department in the most recent appropriations bill. It should never have come to this.  

“There are still questions left unanswered, including why this necessary assistance was delayed in the first place. Today’s announcement seems to clear all major hurdles, allowing Puerto Rico to obtain $8.2 billion in unmet needs aid and begin the process of developing an action plan to spend $8.3 billion in additional mitigation resources. We expect that HUD will work collaboratively with Puerto Rico as they continue their recovery, and we will continue to provide robust oversight to ensure it does. We will also carefully scrutinize any special conditions placed on these grants.”

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116th Congress