STATEMENT: CAP’s Enrique Fernández-Toledo Praises Congressional Passage of Disaster Relief Bill

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure providing $19.1 billion in relief and recovery assistance for areas affected by natural disasters, including about $900 million for Puerto Rico. About $600 million would go to the hundreds of thousands of low-income Puerto Rican families who are still struggling to get nutritional assistance after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. Although the bill was approved by the U.S. Senate last month, Republican House members held up its passage on three different occasions. The measure passed thanks to the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), and Rep. and Nydia Velázquez (D-NY). 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’s about time that lawmakers acted to provide urgently needed disaster assistance to all—especially to Puerto Rico. It is shameful that President Donald Trump was holding up this critical aid over an effort to extract funds for his fake border crisis. We commend Democratic leaders in the House and Senate for their persistent efforts to aid the people of Puerto Rico despite the obstruction by President Trump and his House allies.

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