Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is in Puerto Rico with a delegation of Members of Congress. Other members include Chairwoman of the House Committee on Small Business Nydia Velazquez, Chairwoman of the House Oversight Reform Committee Carolyn Maloney, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Hoyer said in a press conference that he was angry that Puerto Rico has still not received the disaster recovery funds appropriated by Congress. However, he also said that he wanted the situation to be resolved, rather than wanting to place blame on anyone.
“I want to give the people of Puerto Rico a clear indication that there are a lot of people who care very deeply about our fellow Americans,” Hoyer said, according to Politico. “We still want to make sure that Puerto Rico has the resources it needs.”
Governor Wanda Vazquez planned to meet with the delegation, but a family emergency prevented her from doing so. The congresspeople were able to visit schools in Guánica and speak with people who were displaced from their homes after this winter’s earthquakes.
Delays in funding
Less than half of the disaster funding Congress has set aside for Puerto Rico has actually reached the Island. Hoyer expressed frustration with this state of affairs.
“If Puerto Rico was a state, this would have already been done,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer and the rest of the delegation intend to gather the facts needed to continue to work for disaster relief for Puerto Rico.
“We want to meet with people just to hear from them,” How said. “Not to expose them, not to use them as props, but because we are there to help make sure that our government, the United States government, the Puerto Rican government acts in a way that will give them the kind of relief, assistance, and help that they need and should have as our fellow Americans.”