Congressman Serrano Responds to Reports that President Trump is Calling for Termination of Federal Relief Funding for Puerto Rico
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano, a senior Democratic Member of the Appropriations Committee and the longest serving Puerto Rican Member of Congress released the following statement in response to reports that President Trump’s is calling on Congress to cut off federal relief funding for Puerto Rico for its recovery after Hurricane Maria.
“President Trump’s calls to further limit the resources available to Puerto Rico in the aftermath Hurricane Maria are completely tone deaf. This is just the latest example of how little the Trump Administration knows and cares about the situation on the island, its successful recovery and ultimately, its people. President Trump has hit a new low asking the federal government to cut all aid while thousands still lack access to reliable electricity, secure shelter, and good health care. The President’s charactarization of the local government’s use of federal funds is not only inaccurate, it omits the fact that Puerto Rico, as a colony, is forced to undergo several layers of additional scrutiny in terms of its plans and use of disaster funding. Puerto Rico is still in the midst of an economic crisis, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria local economic activity has taken a hard hit. This is funding the island desperately needs. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I intend to work with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to prevent this horrifying attempt to starve the local government from taking place. Puerto Rico needs more help, not less. Our federal government, particularly the Appropriations Committee on both sides of the aisle, knows that cutting relief funding for the island will create more local economic instability and prevent the islands successful recovery. At this point, we shouldn’t be surprised by the President’s lack of compassion, but his ignorance will not go unanswered.”
Congressman José E. Serrano has represented The Bronx in Congress since 1990. He is a Senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.