HOW TO TAKE ACTION:
Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and follow the prompts to reach your Senators and Representative. Fill out the blanks and read the script when the staff answers the phone or leave a voice message.
“Hi, my name is [NAME], I am a voting constituent living in [CITY/TOWN] and my zip code is [ZIP CODE #].
I’m calling to urgently request that [YOUR SENATOR /REPRESENTATIVE’S NAME] make sure that Puerto Rico is included in the upcoming disaster supplemental bill. There is work currently underway to assess damages before the end of the year that would make it clear that Puerto Rico, and the 3.4 million US citizens that live there, will need broad support to rebuild its infrastructure, stimulate its economy and attend to basic human needs. This help is needed now, not later. Puerto Rico CANNOT be left out of the upcoming relief bill.
Will [YOUR SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE’S NAME ] publicly support the inclusion of Puerto Rico in the upcoming disaster supplemental bill?
After the last disaster relief supplemental* bill, which only included a $4.9 billion LOAN to Puerto Rico, the White House promised that Congress would receive a request this month for a new round of disaster aid for communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and western wildfires. However, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney recently indicated that additional disaster-relief requests will only follow after assessments are completed. Texas and Florida, which were affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, have already completed their damage assessments and are keen to get additional funding as soon as possible. Although Puerto Rico is still awaiting preliminary damage assessments, insured and uninsured losses already escalate to $95 billion (Moody’s).
Rumors on Capitol Hill are that Congress may soon introduce a follow-on disaster relief supplemental* bill that only includes Texas and Florida. This would be tragic for Puerto Rico, whose people are in desperate need right now.
The upcoming disaster supplemental* bill may be Puerto Rico’s last chance to get the funding it needs to rebuild its infrastructure, stimulate the economy, and attend to the basic needs of the 3.4 million US citizens who live there.
*Supplemental bills are voted on outside the regular budget procedures when extraordinary situations arise that call for additional funding for federal government services. The impacts of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and María qualify as extraordinary.
Disaster relief bill clears major hurdle in Senate
Senate Passes Hurricane Relief Bill Granting Puerto Rico Loans
Hurricane Maria could be a $95 billion storm for Puerto Rico
The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico