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Blumenthal to Puerto Rico: You Are Not Alone

Blumenthal calls on Congress to act immediately to provide relief to Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria

[WASHINGTON, DC]Today on the Senate Floor, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called on Congress and the Trump Administration to take immediate steps to increase aid to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s devastation.

“Every one of the people who live in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands are Americans. First and foremost they are Americans who are going through one of the toughest periods of their lives, a time that no American wants to face alone,” said Blumenthal. “And my message to the people of Puerto Rico, as well as the United States Virgin Islands: you are not alone. You are not alone in this humanitarian crisis. Congress will act. We will provide the kind of relief package, food, medicine, whatever supplies are necessary not only to endure and survive, but to eventually thrive…That is a promise that this United States Senate must make to our fellow Americans.”

Video of Blumenthal’s full remarks is available here.

Blumenthal joined nine of his Senate colleagues in a letter urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to allow Congress to swiftly take up legislation to provide necessary help to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Senators requested Congress immediately take up a supplemental appropriations bill to ensure a sufficient increase in FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund and funding for Community Development Block Grants for disaster recovery. The Trump Administration has pledged to send an aid package to Congress for consideration as late as the second week in October – at which point Puerto Ricans will have been without power and necessary resources for nearly three weeks.

Today in a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) pressed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford on current efforts by the U.S. military to aid Puerto Rico, where residents have been without power – and in some places, without potable water – for nearly a week. U.S. military forces, including the Connecticut National Guard, have mobilized to help bring aid to the island.