Senate Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands Disaster Vote

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Fund Relief for Puerto Rico and USVI

Friends,

In the President’s State of the Union address, he told disaster victims from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands “we are with you, we love you and we will pull through this together.”

Unfortunately Disaster victims from California to Puerto Rico are still waiting for Congress to authorize relief and rebuilding funds. 

The Senate still has not voted on the recovery package for disaster victims. Their next deadline to act is February 9th to avert a government shutdown. Send a message to Congress: the people of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands need relief. 

More than four months has passed since Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico, devastating the island. Much of the island is still without power, hospitals lack supplies and personnel to adequately care for the sick. Murders and suicides are at record levels.

The effects of the storm are heartbreaking in the US Virgin Islands, where power is still not completely restored and many homes and buildings are still without roofs. These islands will not be able to withstand the next storm if they do not receive the help and aid that many in Washington promised. Hold Congress and the White House to their word by calling on them now to act and provide the relief the islands need. 

Your voice matters. Now is the time to act. Congress must pass another spending bill before February 9th to keep the government open. Send a message to Congress for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

We know that the pressure we’ve been putting on Congress is having an effect, but we need your help. Please act now and share this message with your friends and family.

Gratefully,

Kate's_Signature-transparent.png

Kate Zeller
Campaigns Director

Twitter: @JubileeUSA
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

FB Twitter Donate Blog Flickr
Jubilee USA Network
212 East Capitol St NE - Washington, DC 20003
(202) 783-3566 - coord@jubileeusa.org

 

 

 

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Shutdown Ends, Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Waits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
January 22, 2018 

Jubilee USA Statement on Government Shutdown and Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Package 

The Senate voted in favor of a plan to keep the US Government funded through February 8th, ending the "shutdown." Democrats and Republicans failed to reach an agreement on a number issues including immigration and disaster relief but agreed to have open debate on those issues in the weeks ahead.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization, Jubilee USA, releases the following statement:

"Disaster victims from Texas to Puerto Rico are still waiting for Congress to pass ‎relief and recovery aid legislation. 

"In Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, human lives are shut down. Many people have gone without electricity for over a hundred days.

"The House passed a relief package and now it's the Senate's turn to pass a relief package. 

"Congress and the White House must be sure that Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have sufficient aid to rebuild to withstand the next storm."

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Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Lydia C. Andrews, Deputy Director
lydia@jubileeusa.org / (o) (202) 783-3566 x109 (m) (847) 772-2305
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Government Shutdown Fails Puerto Rico, Economists Call for Debt Relief

‎FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
January 19, 2018 

Government Shutdown Solutions Could Leave Out Disaster Aid for Puerto Rico 

Economists Say Island Needs Debt Relief and Rebuilding Funds 

Washington DC – As the Senate and White House struggle to avert a government shutdown, US disaster victims from Puerto Rico to Texas worry a deal on relief and recovery aid will continue to be delayed. Moody’s rating agency estimates that Puerto Rico alone needs an upwards of $90 billion in aid to rebuild.

“Congress has failed to deliver recovery and relief aid to millions of US citizens affected by natural disasters in the last year,” stated Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development group, Jubilee USA. “We are really concerned for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The islands were already dealing with high child poverty rates, developing world conditions and financial crises well before the hurricanes struck.”

In the last days of 2017, the US House of Representatives voted for an $81 billion dollar aid package for Texas, Florida, California, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The House Bill fell short of the requests made by the Governors of the affected areas. As of Friday morning, Senators were still trying to negotiate some relief aid funding for Puerto Rico.

“It’s absolutely essential that Congress moves forward a recovery package as soon as possible. Aid must be enough to fully fund Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to rebuild to withstand the next storm,” said LeCompte who met with Republican and Democratic leadership on moving forward a recovery package. Since September, LeCompte’s organization generated thousands of petitions, phone calls and e-mails to Congress and the White House to provide relief for the US Territories through a series of action alerts. 

As Congress wrestles with a recovery package for the beleaguered islands, Puerto Rico’s oversight board and Governor are preparing to release a new post hurricane economic plan. Before the hurricanes hit, Puerto Rico was entangled in a congressionally crafted bankruptcy process to deal with $72 billion in debt. The new fiscal plan will state how debt will be dealt with in a post hurricane Puerto Rico.

“The new plan for Puerto Rico must address the devastation caused by the hurricane and the problems that caused the prior deterioration of the economy,” a group of notable economists reflected in an open statement they released on Friday. Signers included: Antonio Weiss, former Counselor to the US Treasury Secretary; Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz; Simon Johnson, former International Monetary Fund chief economist; Mario Marazzi Santiago of the Puerto Rican Institute of Statistics; former top United Nations adviser, Jeffrey Sachs; Jason Furman, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Gene Sperling, former director of the National Economic Council.

The economist release entitled, “A Fiscal Plan for Puerto Rico,” calls for debt relief and substantial aid for Puerto Rico. The statement comes as Congress, the White House and the Island’s Governor and oversight board make decisions around the fate of the 3.5 million US citizens who call Puerto Rico home.

“The new final fiscal plan cannot allow a penny to be paid for debt until Puerto Rico sees positive economic recovery and is fully funded to be able to rebuild to withstand the next storm,” LeCompte noted. “Beyond the significant debt relief needed, Puerto Rico needs to stop all debt payments for at least five years.”

For nearly two years before the hurricanes struck, religious groups in Puerto Rico and the United States were advocating various solutions to deal with the growing financial crisis and high poverty rates. Shortly before Christmas, religious groups gathered in a Congress building to call for relief and aid. Supporting and participating groups included the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United Church of Christ, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Franciscan Action Network, the National Association of Evangelicals, Muslim Public Affairs Council and Islamic Relief. 

During the prayer service, Puerto Rico's Archbishop Roberto González Nieves reflected, "Puerto Rico desperately needs a complete debt relief, funding for rebuilding, and equal access to Medicare, Medicaid and child tax benefit funding. [...] Today we pray with the persistence and tenacity of the widow of the gospel; we pray full of hope that the miracle of compassion, openness toward and solidarity with Puerto Rico may come true."

Read the economist statement, “A Fiscal Plan for Puerto Rico"

View Jubilee USA’s most recent action alert

###

Available for Interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Lydia C. Andrews, Deputy Director
lydia@jubileeusa.org / (o) (202) 783-3566 x109 (m) (847) 772-2305





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Take Action: Puerto Rico Trapped in Government Shutdown Debate‎

As Congress works to avoid another government shutdown, a crucial part of the debate is the funding for relief and recovery aid desperately needed for disaster victims in Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Florida, Texas and California.

Republican and Democratic leadership have told Jubilee USA that your phone calls and messages for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are making a BIG difference. Please act now.

Hurricane victims in Puerto and the US Virgin Islands are suffering as Congress debates a government shutdown. Please send a message to your Senators and Representative and tell them Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands needs recovery funding to rebuild to withstand the next storm. Let Congress know that Puerto Rico needs debt relief. Tell them that US Citizens living in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands should be able to receive the same level of access to Medicaid, Medicare and child tax benefits that citizens can access who live in the States.

Because of the pressure we put on Congress in recent weeks, we stripped the final Congress tax package of an "excise" tax on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Our collective action makes a big difference.

Send a message to Congress now. Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands need recovery funding to rebuild to withstand the next storm. Tell them Puerto Rico needs debt relief. US Citizens living in Puerto Rico should be able to access Medicaid, Medicare and child tax benefits that citizens can access who live in the States.‎

At the end of 2017, Jubilee USA and our partners hosted a prayer service in Congress for Puerto Rico. Supporting and participating groups included the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United Church of Christ, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Franciscan Action Network, the National Association of Evangelicals, Muslim Public Affairs Council and Islamic Relief. During the prayer service, Puerto Rico's Archbishop Roberto González Nieves reflected, "Puerto Rico desperately needs a complete debt relief, funding for rebuilding, and equal access to Medicare, Medicaid and child tax benefit funding. [...] Today we pray with the persistence and tenacity of the widow of the gospel; we pray full of hope that the miracle of compassion, openness toward and solidarity with Puerto Rico may come true."

Your calls and messages are urgently needed as Jubilee USA and our partners continue to walk the halls of Congress. Together we can win the aid and relief Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands desperately needs.

Please click on this link and send a message to your Members of Congress now.

Thanks for taking action,

Eric_Signature.transparent.jpg

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

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Jubilee USA's Executive Director discusses the Puerto Rico Crisis with Weekly World News

Eric Lecompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, was recently quoted in The World Weekly on the need for debt forgiveness in Puerto Rico. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

America's forgotten crisis

By: Alex Izza 

Proposals are flying around for how to rejuvenate the island. The Puerto Rican government is looking to modernise its infrastructure to better withstand future storms. Governor Rosselló requested $94 billion in aid from Congress. Indeed, there are wider calls to ease Puerto Rico’s financial decay. “Without debt forgiveness, Puerto Rico will see no economic growth and the island’s future becomes even bleaker,” argues Eric LeCompte, executive director of financial non-profit Jubilee USA Network.

For now, Congress is focusing on allocating Puerto Rico one part of the $81 billion aid bill for disaster-affected areas in the US. It is currently stranded in the Senate. 

Amidst it all, Puerto Rican politicians are taking action. On the back of a pro-statehood result in last year’s referendum, and defying vast constitutional obstacles, this week seven members of Puerto Rico’s ‘shadow’ congressional delegation presented their credentials in Washington DC and demanded to be seated. 

Read more here

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Eric LeCompte discusses Greek debt relief in Value Walk

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently quoted in Value Walk about the need for debt relief for Greece. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

As Yields Tank, HSBC Warns Greece Needs More Debt Relief

By: Mark Melin

"The question of Greece pilling up debt and derivatives to an extent that cannot be logically be supported by their economy has been the hot topic that mostly remains unaddressed. Are those who structured the debt at all responsible if it created economic catastrophe?

This notion was put forth by those who advocated debt relief for Greece, including Eric LeCompte, a UN debt relief consultant and executive director at Jubilee USA Network.

'Greece isn’t out of the woods yet,' he told ValueWalk Thursday. 'If we really want Greece to get out of its challenges, this requires debt relief.'

Debt relief has been the third rail of the Greek negotiations. While some advocated flat out debt forgiveness, as was done in 1953 through the London Agreement that forgave Germany a significant amount of its war debt, LeCompte points to more structural relief.

With 80% debt held by the Eurozone, he points to extending maturity and reducing real payments and creating triggers in a payment system that is relative to the ability of the sovereign nation to pay. 'A successful Greece means a successful EU,' he said, noting that doesn’t mean a debt write off is required as such, but rather accommodation."

Read more here.

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Eric LeCompte cited in The Tablet on Puerto Rico

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently quoted in The Tablet speaking on the urgent need for a disaster relief package for Puerto Rico when the Government resumes. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Puerto Rico aid package falls foul of party bickering

By: Michael Sean Winters

“We believe Congress will take on all of these issues as soon as they come back to Washington,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of JubileeUSA which has been working closely with religious leaders in Puerto Rico. This month, Congress must pass legislation to keep the Government open and it is hoped the disaster relief package will be part of that legislation.

Read more here.

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Your 2017 Gift DOUBLES 2018 Impacts

Dear Friend,

In 2017, we accomplished a lot. With your help, we can do even more in 2018.

This year we stopped "vulture funds" and won a super bankruptcy process for Puerto Rico in May. We moved the White House and G20 to endorse stronger standards on responsible lending and we introduced bipartisan legislation to stop financial secrecy. We defended consumer protections and global anti-poverty measures from repeal in Congress. We launched a new website and logo.

Because of your partnership in 2017, when the devastating hurricanes struck, our team sprang into action and supported major religious leaders in the US and affected islands to contact the White House, International Monetary Fund and Congress. We collected thousands of petitions and were quoted in thousands of newspapers around the globe. We appeared on CNBC and addressed the United Nations calling for relief for Puerto Rico, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands and Barbuda.

Your gift to Jubilee USA grows our bipartisan and interfaith work that addresses the root causes of poverty and inequality. All year-end gifts are tax-deductible and matched up to 20,000 dollars. Whether your gift is $5, $50 or $500 - your gift is needed, so appreciated and will be doubled before January 1st.

With your support in 2018, we can win debt relief and recovery aid for Puerto Rico, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands and Barbuda. Campaigns we win for these islands will create US and global precedents to protect countries when natural disaster strikes. Across the country, in the Caribbean, and around our world, we are launching more initiatives that support and train major religious leaders to prevent austerity policies, negotiate solutions to financial crisis and promote economic policies that protect the vulnerable.

When you give now, your gift will protect Dodd-Frank from being repealed in Congress. Your gift will make it easier for poor economies to get out of financial crisis and protect vulnerable populations. Your support now means we can expose the links between human trafficking and financial secrecy. And that support can help stop the shell companies that facilitate human trafficking and allow corrupt officials to steal money from their people.  In 2018, we'll promote trade policies that support access to medicine, are pro-development and prevent exploitation from "vulture funds." Across the United States, we’ll run grassroots organizing campaigns in Idaho, New York, Utah, Arizona and Georgia. 

Your investment in Jubilee USA builds a more responsible, transparent financial system that protects vulnerable and poor people. Please join me and make a tax-deductible year-end gift to Jubilee USA. That gift will be matched up to 20,000 dollars if you donate before January 1.

Thanks for your partnership,

Eric_Signature.transparent.jpg

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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Take Action for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

Friends,

Last week Congress left town without voting for relief and recovery aid for disaster struck Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Florida, Texas and California. 

Please send a message to your Senators and Representative and tell them Puerto Rico needs recovery funding to rebuild to withstand the next storm. Let Congress know that Puerto Rico needs debt relief. Tell them that US Citizens living in Puerto Rico should be able to receive the same level of access to Medicaid, Medicare and child tax benefits that citizens can access who live in the States.

Because of the pressure we put on Congress in recent weeks, we stripped the tax package of an "excise" tax on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Our collective actions make a big difference. In the days and weeks to come, Congress will make several decisions that will impact the people of Puerto Rico.

Unfortunately, Congress left town before agreeing on a recovery package for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida and California.

E-mail Congress now. Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands need recovery funding to rebuild to withstand the next storm. Tell them Puerto Rico needs debt relief. US Citizens living in Puerto Rico should be able to access Medicaid, Medicare and child tax benefits that citizens can access who live in the States.‎

Last week, Puerto Rico's Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez joined Jubilee USA's Director Eric LeCompte to meet with the teams of Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell. 

Afterwards, Jubilee USA and our partners hosted a prayer service in a Congress office building for Puerto Rico. Supporting and participating groups included the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United Church of Christ, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Franciscan Action Network, the National Association of Evangelicals, Muslim Public Affairs Council and Islamic Relief.

Archbishop Gonzalez reflected as we waited for Congress to vote on recovery aid:

"Puerto Rico desperately needs a complete debt relief, funding for rebuilding, and equal access to Medicare, Medicaid and child tax benefit funding. [...] Today we pray with the persistence and tenacity of the widow of the gospel; we pray full of hope that the miracle of compassion, openness toward and solidarity with Puerto Rico may come true."

Please click on this link and send a message to your Members of Congress now.

Thanks for taking action,

Kate Zeller
Campaigns Director
Twitter: @JubileeUSA
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

FB Twitter Donate Blog Flickr
Jubilee USA Network
212 East Capitol St NE - Washington, DC 20003
(202) 783-3566 - coord@jubileeusa.org

 

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