Soto, Torres Urge Biden to Release Relief Funds to Puerto Rico

January 22, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Reps. Darren Soto (FL-09) and Ritchie Torres (NY-15) sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to release federal relief funds for Puerto Rico through an Executive Order.

“As you know, Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the entire island of Puerto Rico over three years ago,” wrote the Members.“Unfortunately, the hurricanes’ effects have been exacerbated by a series of earthquake clusters which have further damaged the island’s infrastructure and created critical deficiencies in Puerto Rico’s energy sector. Now, as their fragile healthcare system grapples with COVID-19, it is more important than ever that we get these American citizens the help they need.” 

Following Hurricane Maria, Congress allocated around $42.5 billion in federal funds for the island´s recovery and reconstruction. However, a majority of the funds have been delayed for over three years, including Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR).

“The people of Puerto Rico have long awaited the release of these funds,” continued the Members. “Therefore, we believe it important to expedite the release of federal funds to help Puerto Rico recover from the effects of multiple natural disasters and believe an Executive Order or other executive action is the best option to address these concerns.”

The full letter can be read here