Speaker Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives

Pelosi Statement on Administration’s Release of Hold on Puerto Rico Funds

January 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement following reports that the Trump Administration will finally release long-withheld disaster relief funds for Puerto Rico:

“Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico have waited too long for the Trump Administration to release billions of dollars in urgently needed, Congressionally-approved disaster assistance.  By illegally withholding these critical funds, the Administration has seriously harmed countless disaster survivors and prevented Puerto Rico from rebuilding and preparing against future disasters, such as the earthquakes the island is experiencing now. 

“House Democrats stand with our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and will ensure the Administration meets its obligations to deliver the resources and aid needed to recover and rebuild.  Even with the release of this vital funding, more needs to be done to support impacted communities.  Last year, the House passed bipartisan legislation to permanently authorize the critical Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program, to ensure vital assistance is delivered with the urgency that disaster recovery requires.  Despite its importance, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to do right by Americans in need of emergency assistance.  It is time for him to end his outrageous obstruction and pass this life-saving bill.   

“Americans in Puerto Rico deserve to know that their government will be there for them, without question or hesitation.  As earthquakes continue to rock Puerto Rico, all Americans pray for our fellow Americans and offer our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the man who died in Ponce from the earthquakes, and the 13-year old girl who was tragically lost last week in Vieques, where residents have waited far too long for essential federal assistance needed for modernizing hospitals.  

“President Trump must stop delaying and immediately sign Governor Vázquez’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for earthquake recovery.  Congress will continue to closely monitor recovery efforts and will work to ensure that our fellow Americans receive the assistance that they have been promised, without further delay.”