Congressman García Votes for $4.89 Billion in Aid for Puerto Rico
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) issued the following statement after voting to support the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act:
“Our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, many of whom have families throughout Chicago including my wife Evelyn, have suffered too much for too long. While necessary, this aid is a meager step to provide the needed aid for people on the islands. Puerto Ricans have endured repeated economic crises, hurricanes, and earthquakes that have devastated the lives of millions. Still, this Administration and Republicans in Congress have allowed aid and emergency relief to stall.
“It is a disgrace that after two and a half years, Puerto Ricans continue to live without roofs, children don't have schools, and individuals continue to die as a result of inadequate access to health care.
“Next week, I will travel with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and leaders of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, to survey the compounded effects of the recent earthquakes and destruction left by hurricane Maria. We will be working to urgently identify short-term emergency relief needs and long-term solutions to streamline future aid and reconstruction efforts.
“Never again can we allow any American, including the families in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to suffer without the full, unimpeded support of the federal government.
“We must do everything we can to put the people of Puerto Rico on the path to long-term recovery and economic stability. The President and Senate Republicans must act with urgency to approve this relief for the 3 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico.”
Despite President Trump’s threat to veto the package, H.R. 5687 passed the House with bipartisan support and now heads to the Senate. H.R. 5687 includes accountability measures to address the Trump administration’s illegal withholding of relief and would provide:
✔️$210 million to supply nutrition assistance
✔️$101 million to rebuild schools
✔️$1.25 billion to repair roads
✔️$18 million to repair and support the electric grid
✔️$3.3 billion to help local governments and organizations support recovery efforts and rebuild homes (through Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Relief)
✔️$6.75 million to study earthquake risk and long-term energy planning