February 02, 2021

Warren Applauds Release of Long-Awaited Puerto Rico Relief Funds

Warren Applauds Release of Long-Awaited Puerto Rico Relief Funds

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, made the following statement regarding President Biden's plans to release Puerto Rico relief funds to assist the island with recovery efforts and protection against future natural disasters.  

"After natural disasters devastated Puerto Rico, the Trump administration exacerbated the harm to island residents by delaying delivery of the disaster relief Congress provided. I'm glad the Biden administration is taking the first steps to fix the damage caused by the previous administration by providing the relief Puerto Rico is owed for recovery and long-term rebuilding and resiliency efforts," said Senator Warren.

Yesterday, the Biden administration announced that it plans to release $1.3 billion in aid Congress provided to Puerto Rico under its Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) Program, which provides assistance to places impacted by recent disasters to mitigate disaster risks and reduce future losses. The Biden administration also announced that they will make other additional funds available to the island and roll back the harmful and unnecessary restrictions on relief funds that the Trump administration put in place.

Senator Warren has been fighting hard to ensure that the people of Puerto Rico have the resources they need and for strong federal oversight of recovery efforts. She railed against the Trump administration's withholding aid that Congress granted for Puerto Rico's recovery efforts.

·       In February 2020, Senator Warren wrote to the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General requesting an inquiry into whether the Trump administration's delay in releasing emergency relief funds appropriated by Congress for Puerto Rico violated the Impoundment Control Act of 1974.

·       In 2018, Senator Warren introduced legislation to provide an avenue to comprehensive debt relief for Puerto Rico and other disaster-ravaged U.S. territories so they can recover and rebuild with dignity.

·       In 2018, Senator Warren led the Massachusetts Delegation on a trip to Puerto Rico and held community meetings in Massachusetts shortly after Hurricane Maria to meet with people affected by the hurricanes.