Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Serrano Statement on Hurricane Maria

Sep 21, 2017
Press Release

Today, Congressman Serrano issued the following statement on Hurricane Maria and its impact on Puerto Rico:

“The images and reports out of Puerto Rico so far are devastating.  My place of birth has been deeply damaged by Hurricane Maria, after having been affected by Hurricane Irma just a few weeks ago.  Many of my constituents also have strong ties to the island and I am deeply concerned for the people of Puerto Rico.  The federal response must be swift and comprehensive.  I commend the Governor Ricardo Rosselló for his strong leadership, and pledge to work with the local government to help quickly repair the damage and those in need. 

“I am acutely aware of the devastating impact and urgent need for federal aid in the aftermath of a hurricane, in this case the worst one to hit the island in recent history.  As a senior Member of the Appropriations Committee, I will be working with my colleagues on the committee to help quickly craft a comprehensive emergency disaster supplemental that address the rebuilding and recovery process in areas impacted by Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey.  The affected areas in Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida, and elsewhere deserve the same comprehensive response to that my hometown eventually received in the wake of Sandy. 

“We have already taken a first step in that process- but as we move forward, it is imperative that every resource be used to help rebuild and strengthen affected areas, avoid environmental disasters, and prevent humanitarian emergencies.  As we saw with Sandy, a proper disaster response requires not just emergency help to save lives, but long-term assistance to repair, rebuild, and fortify vulnerable areas. The people in Puerto Rico, Houston, and elsewhere are hurting, and they are looking to us to provide the reassurance, assistance, and comfort that they need.

“Lastly, I would note that we need to make sure that Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are treated equally in the funding for these recovery efforts- they are  part of the American family, and we must do justice by all of those affected, regardless of whether they reside in a state.