Puerto Rico

Soto pushed for disaster relief from the federal government. He’s been working closely with the Puerto Rican government, including with Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, on numerous legislative plans that support victims and their families.

Congressman Soto is an original co-sponsor of H.R 4782 “Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act of 2018” that provides additional disaster recovery assistance for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also co-introduced the Humanitarian Disaster Relief Act of 2017 to allow for a temporary waiver of the Jones Act which increased resources for humanitarian relief efforts during the aftermath of the hurricanes.

“Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are in crisis. People are dying and the time for action is now. These are American’s and we can't turn our backs on them.”

Immediately following the Hurricanes, Rep. Soto visited Puerto Rico to assess firsthand the damaged caused on the island. A few months later, he visited the island again alongside Florida Senator Bill Nelson, to visit schools, hospitals, and to evaluate the damage that remained. Following the visits, he launched a Regional Task Force, consisting of Central Florida’s elected officials and leaders, to address the needs of displaced Puerto Rican evacuees in the district. Since Hurricane Maria, more than 400,00 people have relocated to Florida, many who are in need of assistance. Unfortunately, that number keeps rising.

“The reality is that my fellow Puerto Ricans are still arriving in Florida in great numbers, every day. Our state does not have the resources to manage this influx without any help with transition

Rep. Soto has championed numerous issues directly affecting the Puerto Rican community, including increasing federal funding from FEMA, extending the Transitional Shelter Assistance housing program, and easing the integration process for students who have evacuated to the Florida College System and other local schools. Rep. Soto led multiple letters to federal government agencies requesting continued efforts to help Puerto Ricans.  Efforts ranged from housing assistance to oversight on contracts to rebuild the island.

 “There are children who are in the middle of their school year who could be without a home next week, with their families. We keep urging FEMA to approve an extension of the TSA program beyond the current deadline, particularly for those who aren’t eligible for the Direct Lease program”

Rep. Soto will continue fighting for all Puerto Ricans on the island and the newly arrived constituents in Central Florida.

 

Cosponsor

 H.R.3829 — The Uniform Federal Grants for Resilient Infrastructure and Design Act of 2017 or the TUFGRID Act of 2017

To establish a program to provide grants to States, local governments, and electric utilities to make electric infrastructure more resilient to hurricanes, tornadoes, and other major weather-related events.

H.R.260 — Puerto Rico Admission Act

To enable the admission of the territory of Puerto Rico into the Union as a State, and for other purposes.

Humanitarian Disaster Relief Act of 2017

To permit the waiver of Jones Act requirements for humanitarian relief efforts.

H.R.4782 — Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act of 2018

To provide additional disaster recovery assistance for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, and for other purposes.

H.R.798 — Child Tax Credit Equity for Puerto Rico Act of 2017

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide equitable treatment for residents of Puerto Rico with respect to the refundable portion of the child tax credit and to provide the same treatment to families in Puerto Rico with one child or two children that is currently provided to island families with three or more children.

H.R.261 — Puerto Rico Medicare Part B Equality Act

To amend part B of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to apply deemed enrollment to residents of Puerto Rico. This bill amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to automatically enroll eligible residents of Puerto Rico in Medicare's medical insurance program. Under current law, automatic enrollment applies to eligible residents of the United States, excluding Puerto Rico.

H.R.2530 — Earned Income Tax Credit Equity for Puerto Act of 2017

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make residents of Puerto Rico eligible for the earned income tax credit. This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to make citizens of Puerto Rico eligible for the federal earned income tax credit.

H.R.2531 — Puerto Rico Medicare Part B Equality Act of 2017

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to apply Medicare part B deemed enrollment process to residents of Puerto Rico. This bill amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to automatically enroll eligible residents of Puerto Rico in Medicare's medical insurance program. Under current law, automatic enrollment applies to eligible residents of the United States, excluding Puerto Rico.

H.R.3472 — Puerto Rico Air Cargo Industry Empowerment Act

To amend title 49, United States Code, with respect to air cargo in Puerto Rico, and for other purposes.

H.R.2429 — Puerto Rico Task Force Economic Empowerment Act of 2017

To support businesses in Puerto Rico, improve health funding for Puerto Rico, and promote security in Puerto Rico, and for other purposes.

H.R.2488 —Puerto Rico Small Business Assistance Act of 2017

To provide for small business concerns located in Puerto Rico, and for other purposes.

H.R.4782 — Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act of 2018

To provide additional disaster recovery assistance for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, and for other purposes.

More on Puerto Rico

August 22, 2019 Press Release

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, along with Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09), led a bicameral group of colleagues in sending a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requesting the publication of a Federal Register Notice (FRN) detailing the requirements for the disbursement of disaster recovery funds appropriated for Puerto Rico and the U.S.

July 26, 2019 Event

Central Florida is intrinsically connected to different regions of the world with economic, cultural, and political ties. Join our Town Hall from the convenience of your computer or mobile via Facebook Live to discuss how our foreign policy work in Congress affects you. We will discuss our Venezuela TPS Bill, my recent trip to the Middle East visiting our troops, the DREAM and Promise Act, our push to give Caribbean territories equal access to Medicaid, along with foreign policy issues we're tackling in Congress.

 

July 17, 2019 Press Release

Today, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved Congressman Darren Soto’s bipartisan legislation to provide equal access of federal resources for Medicaid to all American citizens living in the five U.S. territories: Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands. The Territories Health Care Improvement Act, included as part of H.R. 2328, now heads to the full House of Representatives for a vote, one step closer to becoming law.

July 10, 2019 Press Release

Today, U.S. Congressman Darren Soto introduced bipartisan legislation to provide equal access to federal resources for Medicaid to American Citizens living in U.S. territories.  H.R. 3631, the Territories Health Care Improvement Act, increases the limit on Medicaid payments and the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage for the five U.S. territories: Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands.

June 27, 2019 Press Release

Today, U.S. Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09) led a bipartisan, bicameral letter signed by 47 Members of Congress to President Trump’s Administration requesting the disbursement of funds, which were already appropriated, to improve and build a more resilient electric grid in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

May 2, 2019 Press Release

Following a Congressional Delegation trip to Puerto Rico by Members of Congress on the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09) released the following Supplement to the Puerto Rico Recovery Blueprint, summarizing findings from the trip and providing a plan of action Congress must take for the recovery of Puerto Rico. 

 

April 5, 2019 In The News

U.S. Democrats and Republicans have not been able to agree on a package that would provide disaster-relief funding for Puerto Rico. And that has prompted President Trump to lash out on Twitter, calling Puerto Rico's politicians "incompetent and corrupt."
    

March 28, 2019 Press Release

Today, U.S. Representative Darren Soto (FL-09) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (PR-at-large) introduced H.R.1965 Puerto Rico Admission Act of 2019, legislation for admission of the territory of Puerto Rico as a state of the union. This is the first ever direct Statehood admissions bill, allowing Puerto Rico full civil rights and equal footing with other states 90 days after enactment.

March 27, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Puerto Rico Task Force Co-Chairs Congressman José E.

March 11, 2019 In The News

Washington - Darren Soto está por vez primera en mayoría en el Congreso. Y el primer congresista de origen puertorriqueño elegido por Florida -cuyo distrito tiene su base en Kissimmee y alta población boricua- siente la diferencia.

Al preguntársele cómo describe la experiencia de los primeros dos meses con su partido en control de la mayoría de la Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos, Soto respondió que se siente “investido de poder”.