Congressman Ron Wright votes ‘No’ on Emergency Disaster Supplemental (H.R. 5687)

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Congressman Ron Wright [File]

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Ron Wright (R-TX-06) voted NO on the Emergency Disaster Supplemental (H.R. 5687), Friday.

He made the following statement:

“Over the past three years, the United States has allocated over $44 billion to Puerto Rico for disaster relief. This aid has not been distributed as promised, and half the funding remains unused, making additional aid unnecessary and ill-advised.

The legislation prematurely gives an additional $4.67 billion to Puerto Rico before FEMA and the rest of the federal government have even completed their 30-day disaster estimate report. Additionally, the bill includes a $16 billion tax relief slush fund for Puerto Rico residents hidden behind the façade of disaster relief. With our national debt topping $23 trillion, we cannot afford for our nation to continue to be an ATM.

On top of the price tag, political instability throughout the Commonwealth has resulted in United States aid being used to fund corruption, forcing Congress to appoint a financial control board in 2016. The American taxpayer should not be rewarding this kind of behavior with additional aid - plain and simple.

Instead of throwing money at the problem and hoping it goes away, we should focus on using the disaster relief funds we have already appropriated to Puerto Rico in a fiscally responsible way. This bill would add billions of dollars to the debt, and for these reasons, I could not in good conscience vote for this legislation.”

The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act, 2020 provides supplemental appropriations and expands tax credits to respond to recent natural disasters and emergencies that affected Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

Sponsored by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the bill was passed in the House and now goes to the Senate next for consideration.