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January 14, 2020

Thompson Leads Members Calling for Trump to Issue Puerto Rico Disaster Declaration

Quick Federal action is paramount in assisting our fellow Americans recover

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, led a group of House Members in writing President Trump to urge him to, without delay, issue a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico after an earthquake devastated the island last week.  Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced requested the President issue a major disaster declaration on Saturday and the President has yet to act.  Despite it being over two years since Hurricane Maria, many parts of the island are only in the beginning phase of their recovery and have yet to receive any public infrastructure repair funds from FEMA. 

“At present, thousands of Americans are sleeping outside or in shelters because their homes were damaged,” the Members wrote.  “Without a major disaster declaration, these survivors are still in the dark on whether they will be able to apply for Federal housing benefits.  We are already over 72 hours since the request was made and we fear that your failure to grant the declaration is needlessly extending suffering and goes against the Federal government’s promise to help people before, during, and after a disaster.”

Chairman Thompson was joined by Reps. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Al Green (D-TX), Darren Soto (D-FL), José E. Serrano (D-NY), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Kathleen M. Rice (D-NY), and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY). 

Link to Letter

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978