Posts Categorized: Archives

Congressional Subcommittee Finds Problems with Unequal Treatment of Puerto Rico in U.S. Nutrition Programs

Disadvantages of Puerto Rico’s exclusion from the federal nutrition program were on display last week as the U.S. House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee heard testimony from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of the Inspector General. “Puerto Rico does not have the legislative authority to operate a disaster nutrition assistance program,” Phyllis K. Fong,… Read more »

Congress Discusses Puerto Rico Disaster Funds Bill, Refers to Colonial Status

Last week, the House of Representatives passed HR 5687, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act, 2020.  The debate that led up to House passage gave members of Congress an opportunity to make points about the legislative package and their priorities concerning Puerto Rico. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman… Read more »

Board Split, Governor Opposed to New GO Deal

The debt reduction agreement for Puerto Rico’s General Obligation (GO) bonds released by the PROMESA Financial Board just before press time for many newspapers last night was not supported by all Board Members and was immediately opposed by Governor Wanda Vazquez Garced (New Progressive Party/PNP). The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board submitted a filing disclosing the… Read more »

Block Grant Option: States Can Learn from Puerto Rico

A new federal program called “Healthy Adult Opportunity,” which will allow States to choose block grants for part of their Medicaid funding, has been released as guidance by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) The House quickly responded with House Resolution expressing disapproval and asking the CMS to withdraw the guidance. The Resolution… Read more »

House Passes Emergency Spending and Tax Bill for Puerto Rico

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives brushed aside a veto threat from President Trump and passed a $21 billion plus spending bill prompted by the earthquakes that began in Puerto Rico December 28th. The measure would primarily benefit the U.S. territory. Seventeen Republicans joined Democrats to pass the legislation to which an additional $224… Read more »

Florida Lawmakers Support Bloomberg

Just a couple of months ago, former Vice President Joe Biden picked up endorsements from 25 Puerto Rican leaders, ranging from former Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla to several Florida members of the U.S. legislature. One of these leaders, former state Rep. Robert Asencio, has changed his mind. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg… Read more »

JLo Rocks Super Bowl Halftime with “Born in the USA”

Jennifer Lopez, a performing artist of Puerto Rican heritage, brought excitement to the Super Bowl Halftime Show with a performance of “Born in the USA” featuring a Puerto Rican flag. Social media got the point and supported it. Jennifer Lopez, who performed with with her daughter Emme and Colombian singer Shakira in the halftime show,… Read more »

Puerto Rico Tax Proposals Added to Earthquake Disaster Relief Bill

A number of tax benefits for Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories have been added to the Puerto Rico earthquakes assistance bill that the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass next week. Leading the list is extending the portion of the Child Tax Credit that makes payments to workers beyond the extent… Read more »

Statehood Yes or No Vote: A History

Pedro Pierluisi, who was the Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico at the time, wrote a letter to President Obama in 2015 recommending a yes-or-no vote on statehood for Puerto Rico. “Thomas Jefferson wrote the ‘the ground of liberty is to be gained by inches’,” Pierluisi began his letter. He went on to define statehood as… Read more »

Candidate Michael Bloomberg Supports Puerto Rico Statehood

Former New York City Mayor and Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has come out in favor of statehood for Puerto Rico. “For decades, Puerto Ricans and their interests have been ignored by Washington. And there’s a simple reason why: They don’t have a vote in Congress,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “There’s a clear solution to… Read more »