To: The White House, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate
Tell Congress: Puerto Ricans need government help & transparency now
Puerto Rico needs a lifeline that only Congress and the Trump administration can provide. The list of needed actions is short, straightforward and agreed upon by Puerto Ricans of all political stripes. Please sign this petition to amplify the voices of those on the island who are still—quite literally—powerless.
Why is this important?
Here are areas Congress must address to help Puerto Rico:
Congress must move quickly on the $94 billion aid package requested by the Puerto Rican government. The initial $15 billion aid package is far short of what is needed. The generosity of everyday Americans — including groups like the Hispanic Federation and many MoveOn members — helped to provide food and water to those in need. But that's not enough. Puerto Rico needs more disaster aid and the federal government needs to ensure that all funds are distributed fairly, efficiently, and without any further delay.
Congress established the Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) to oversee the Island’s debt. The entity is far too removed from Puerto Rico’s communities to properly identify needs and allocate resources. Congress and federal agencies should explore alternatives to the unelected FOMB that rely on existing structures, precedent, and the leadership of disaster recovery and reconstruction experts working hand-in-hand with affected communities.
Puerto Rico's creditors should do the right thing and walk away. It is the only way forward. Anything short of full debt forgiveness would be a brutal form of economic punishment to a people already suffering.
Since the now-passed tax reform legislation treats Puerto Rico as a foreign jurisdiction, tell Congress they must remedy that immediately as well making tax benefits and incentives like the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit available for Puerto Rico's working families.
3.4 million Americans live on the island, but Puerto Rico receives only a small portion of the Medicaid funding that it would qualify for as a state. The island’s hospitals and health centers are struggling in the wake of the storm. We all have watched in horror how the death toll has been undercounted—by perhaps 1,000 people, according to credible estimates. With the health of so many at risk, let's provide Medicaid parity while streamlining enrollment to many who are not working and need health care.
There's no shortage of compassion and goodwill for Puerto Rico among the American people. But it must be matched by the recognition of our government that the American citizens of Puerto Rico need, demand, and require equal treatment.
Please sign this petition to join the work Power 4 Puerto Rico and I are doing to help Puerto Ricans.