Washington D.C. – Today House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) cheered the announcement that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would obligate $8.2 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds that were allocated for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in September 2017. The Department will also remove onerous restrictions blocking Puerto Rico’s access to Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief funds for long-term recovery.
Chair Grijalva wrote to then President-elect Biden in December 2020 and has spent months working with and urging the new administration to take swift action to prioritize actions like this for Puerto Rico.
“After deadly hurricanes and the coronavirus pandemic hit Puerto Rico hard, the Trump administration made a bad situation worse by deliberately refusing to send the money Congress assigned to help the island recover,” said Chair Grijalva. “I’ve been in contact with the Biden-Harris administration from day one to make sure the people of Puerto Rico receive everything they are entitled to, and to reverse the harm the Trump administration’s neglect has caused. Today’s announcement by my friend and former colleague Secretary Fudge is the latest move in the administration’s ongoing campaign to support the island’s recovery and renewal through a whole-of-government effort. We won’t stop until the people of Puerto Rico have the relief and resources that they need, and are entitled to, as citizens of the United States.”
Grijalva is committed to advancing equality and justice for the people of Puerto Rico. The Committee’s Office of Insular Affairs agenda for the 117th Congress includes advancing climate change legislation to address the planning, mitigation, adaptation, and resilience challenges of U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States; holding hearings on, and working to resolve, Puerto Rico’s political status; and addressing the lack of voting rights and unequal access to existing federal programs suffered by residents of U.S. Territories.
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