STATEMENT: CAP’s Enrique Fernández-Toledo Condemns House Delay in Passage of Disaster Relief Bill

Washington, D.C. — Today, House Republicans delayed voting on a bill that would provide $19.1 billion in relief and recovery assistance for areas affected by natural disasters, including about $900 million for Puerto Rico. The Senate has already approved this measure, and this delay in the House means hundreds of thousands of low-income Puerto Rican families will continue to struggle to get nutritional assistance after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island in 2017. In response, Enrique Fernández-Toledo, director of the Puerto Rico Relief and Economic Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

It is unconscionable that Republican House lawmakers would delay this urgent relief needed for all victims of natural disasters—especially Puerto Rico. Real people are suffering. This comes on top of President Donald Trump’s shameful behavior in holding up this critical aid over a misguided effort to extract funds for his fake border crisis. Hurricane and other disaster victims and Puerto Ricans should not be pawns in the president’s political games. Disaster response should not be guided by disaster racism or border racism.

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