Soto Asks House Leadership To Include Puerto Rico Disaster Relief in Next Coronavirus Package

April 21, 2020
Press Release

This week, Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09) led a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy requesting to include H.R. 5687the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, in the next coronavirus relief package.

“As Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced wrote to you on April 8, additional federal resources are needed to meet the infrastructure, physical health, and mental health needs of U.S. citizens throughout Puerto Rico,” wrote the Members. “H.R. 5687 allows for comingling of funds provided in that legislation and previous emergency supplementals. As such, the legislation would allow Puerto Rico to use these funds for recovery efforts related to several crises, including the coronavirus pandemic. Including this legislation in the next coronavirus aid package would be a significant step in the right direction toward providing critical aid to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.” 

On February 7th, the House passed the $4.89 billion emergency supplemental for Puerto Rico. The bill funds a broad range of disaster recovery activities, including educational needs, repairs to transportation infrastructure, community development, energy needs and nutrition assistance. Months after the devastating earthquakes struck the island, the Republican Senate has yet to take action. If H.R. 5687 is included in the next coronavirus relief package, Puerto Rico will be able to use the funds to recover from its devastating earthquakes, the destruction caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and other needs caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The letter was signed by Reps. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Jesús G. “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Mark Pocan (WI-02), José E. Serrano (NY-15) and Albio Sires (NJ-08). 

The letter can be found here