Press Club

Beyer Urges Further Action After Puerto Rico Aid Package Passes

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) says Congress must do more to help areas hit by natural disasters.

Beyer issued a statement yesterday (Thursday) after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, which provides increased funding to disaster recovery programs.

Beyer’s statement also came after President Donald Trump threatened to pull federal relief workers out of Puerto Rico as the island struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria.

In the statement, Beyer said:

I voted for this aid package to send support to Americans hit by natural disasters, but this bill represents the bare minimum that Congress can do to help, particularly with respect to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Following Donald Trump’s threat to abandon Puerto Rico in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, Congress should guarantee its full support to Americans suffering in the wake of natural disasters. Federal emergency management must not leave Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands until it has restored electricity and access to clean, potable water for everyone.

The aid package has $18.7 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund. That includes $4.9 billion to help fund recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, as well as $676.6 million for fighting wildfires and $16 billion in debt forgiveness for the National Flood Insurance Program to pay claims from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

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