For Immediate Release
New Law Provides Disaster Relief and Medicaid Funds for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands
WASHINGTON - As the Sun rose over the Capitol, Congress voted for a bipartisan spending package to end a brief government shutdown. The Senate and House approved nearly $90 billion dollars in recovery aid for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Florida, Texas and California. The final legislation also includes nearly $5 billion dollars to increase Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico. Shortly after Congress passed the measure, the bill was signed into law by President Trump.
"The human suffering in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands continues, so I'm happy Republican and Democratic leadership could agree on disaster relief and healthcare funding for the poor," noted Jubilee USA Director, Eric LeCompte whose organization generated thousands of e-mails and phone calls to Congress ahead of the vote. "The work of Congress is not over yet. The aid package falls short of what the islands need and Congress will need to approve more disaster relief in the months ahead."
The spending bill includes more than $11 billion in recovery aid for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. More than $2 billion will be available to rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid. Moody's rating agency and the US Territory Governments estimate that more than $100 billion is needed to fully fund recovery and rebuilding efforts.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
The law also includes money for Puerto Rico's Medicaid program that serves poor populations. Until Congress acted, Puerto Rico's Medicaid funding was weeks away from running out.
"We applaud Congress for moving forward the Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico," said LeCompte. "This program is critical for anti-poverty efforts and will generate billions of dollars for Puerto Rico's economy."
Religious leaders in Puerto Rico and across the United States have advocated for Medicaid financing with Congress and the White House for more than two years.
Our pandemic coverage is free to all. As is all of our reporting.
No paywalls. No advertising. No corporate sponsors. Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, traffic to the Common Dreams website has gone through the roof— at times overwhelming and crashing our servers. Common Dreams is a news outlet for everyone and that’s why we have never made our readers pay for the news and never will. But if you can, please support our essential reporting today. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method: