SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) traveled with a bipartisan delegation to Puerto Rico today. After completing his briefing and an aerial tour of affected areas, Speaker Ryan released the following statement:
“First, I want to say that my heart goes out to the people of Puerto Rico. What I’ve seen here today has confirmed that this is first and foremost a humanitarian disaster. But I’ve also seen a compassionate, resilient spirit. What I’ve seen here is people coming together, working together, to help the victims and rebuild communities. I want to commend everyone who has come to the aid of the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—including local officials and first responders, FEMA, our armed services, and the Coast Guard.
“We are absolutely committed to providing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the necessary resources so they can rebuild and recover. That’s why the House moved quickly to pass important disaster funding legislation yesterday. This legislation will provide more disaster response resources to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other areas in the United States affected by natural disasters.
“We do not forget that these are Americans. A large number of them fight alongside us in our wars. I’ll say it again: We are committed to helping Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands get what they need to make it through this difficult time.”
Speaker Ryan’s bipartisan delegation included House GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico).
Upon arrival, the delegation received a briefing at the Joint Field Office from FEMA and Coast Guard officials. The delegation also took part in an aerial tour of the damage.
The speaker and representatives met with Governor Ricardo Rosselló, who gave an update on the current disaster situation and the path forward.
The delegation also hosted a discussion with mayors and local residents, who shared stories of how the storm has affected their communities.