Governor of Puerto Rico thanks United States Senate for the approval of measure to deal with the damages of hurricanes Irma and Maria
(October 24, 2017 – San Juan) The United States Senate approved a $36.5 billion package for disaster relief and—as requested by the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló—the Island will be one of the main beneficiaries.
The Nutrition Assistance Program (PAN, per its Spanish acronym) in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands would receive an injection of $1.2 billion, which would make it easier to access food for the neediest families on the Island. Likewise, both territories will receive $4.9 billion for the Community Disaster Loan Program.
In addition, the legislation includes more than $150 million to cover matching funds required by the federal government to offer assistance to the Island.
During the past month, various areas of the country were affected by hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Jose; additionally, the west coast suffered devastating forest fires.
The bill was approved in the United States Senate two weeks after the House of Representatives also approved it.
“We would like to thank the leaders of Congress for having promptly recognized the needs of the 3.4 million American citizens residing in Puerto Rico,” expressed the governor.
"The United States Congress has done its part by approving this bill. Now it is up to president Donald J. Trump to stamp his signature on it so that Puerto Rico can benefit from an injection of federal funds that will be vital in the reconstruction and transformation of our Island," said Carlos Mercader, director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) in Washington, DC.
If it were to receive Trump's signature, Puerto Rico would have approximately $6.2 billion for recovery efforts after hurricanes Irma and Maria. However, Puerto Rico is expected to be included in a forthcoming legislative vehicle in November, which would complement the measures already approved.
“We are living a situation without precedent, and we expect a response without precedent. We trust that we will continue to count on the support of Congress and the White House in the recovery of our Island after the devastation caused by these natural events,” concluded governor Rosselló.