Washington DC - On Friday, the House of Representatives passed disaster relief legislation to benefit US States, Territories and municipalities recovering from wildfires, floods and hurricanes. Senate legislation remains on hold as the White House and Senate debate the need for disaster funding to be included for Puerto Rico in a Senate package.
"The Senate needs to stop debating relief aid for Puerto Rico and pass a disaster package that ensures all Americans, no matter where they live, can access needed recovery funds," noted Eric LeCompte who leads the religious development group Jubilee USA. "Republicans and Democrats joined together in the House to pass disaster aid for all Americans and now the Senate needs to follow the House's example."
The House disaster package passed 257-150 and included support from thirty-four Republicans who broke ranks with the President and voted for the aid bill. More than $19 billion dollars is included in the House legislation to benefit Americans suffering from natural disasters or impacted by the US-China trade war.
"The political games in the Senate need to stop and the recovery aid needs to be delivered," said LeCompte. "While the Senate debates aid, US citizens from California to Puerto Rico are suffering."
Before Hurricanes Maria and Irma decimated Puerto Rico in 2017, the island was dealing with a $72 billion debt crisis. Last week, Puerto Rico's federally installed oversight board filed a court petition to declare $9 billion in debt "unconstitutional" or debt that should not be paid because it is not legitimate.