Congressman Sires Speaks Out Against HUD’s Illegal Withholding of Recovery Aid for Puerto Rico
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) joined Congressman David Price (D-NC) and members of the Appropriations Committee, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and other members at a press conference to pressure the Administration to follow the law and release recovery funds to Puerto Rico. Two years ago, Puerto Rico suffered two back-to-back hurricanes that caused unprecedented damage. The U.S. Congress appropriated funds to aid Puerto Rico in its recovery over 660 days ago, partly through $10.2 billion in Community Development Block Grants for disaster recovery. The Administration has released only $1.5 billion of those funds to Puerto Rico.
“Congress sent a clear mandate to the Administration, requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to submit a notice for all grantees of the CDBG-DR grants,” said Congressman Sires. “The Trump Administration has broken the law again, failing to follow a Congressional mandate and give a valid reason for withholding the aid. Thousands of people died due to Hurricane Maria and tens of thousands need this help, but the Administration is playing games with funding that is intended for the most vulnerable communities.”
“Puerto Ricans have contributed so much to the United States. They have died defending this country. We owe them the assistance they need to rebuild their communities. Puerto Ricans deserve better than what this Administration has given them, and we will continue fighting to ensure they receive the help they need.”