Puerto Rico has just one member in Congress: the Resident Commissioner, who can introduce bills and sit on committees, but cannot vote. There are no senators for Puerto Rico, and no voting member of the House of Representatives. As a state, Puerto Rico will have seven representatives in the Legislature, but now there is only a small voice speaking for Puerto Rico in the Federal government.
Fortunately, Hurricane Maria woke some members of Congress.
A group of senators wrote to the budget office with a realistic list of the resources that would be needed to rebuild after Hurricane Season 2017, and which federal agencies could help. This letter pointed out that Puerto Rico was in an especially difficult position, with years of recession and austerity measures on top of that.
Here are the senators who signed the letter:
Main authors Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), plus Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Thomas Carper (D-Del.), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Al Franken (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Gary Peters (D-MI)
Another letter, written by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), asked for food for those in Puerto Rico who are still in need.
Here are the other senators who signed that letter:
Charles Schumer (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
In the House of Representatives, Gwen Moore (D-WI) spoke up for Puerto Rico, as did Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) and Ralph Abraham (R-LA).
This is not an exhaustive list, but we hope you’ll look for your representatives here, if you live in one of the 50 states. If your legislators are listed, tell them you appreciate them. If you don’t see your reps on the list, tell them you want to see them support the U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico.