Recently returned from a Congressional visit to Puerto Rico, Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY) affirmed his commitment to helping the devastated U.S. territory.
“The damage,” he noted “is overwhelming.” He added that “it will require a sustained effort over years — not weeks, not months, but years — to bring the islands back to normalcy.”
Crowley noted that weeks after the hurricane, 82% of Puerto Ricans lack power and 28% are without access to clean drinking water, which is a byproduct of the power issue. “And that really is a formula for disaster, and has many public health individuals concerned about what potentially could lie ahead for the people of Puerto Rico,” Crowley stated.
Crowley emphasized that “the message needs to be loud and clear from Congress…that there is no end to the help and support the American people will provide to their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands. That has to be first and foremost, that we are here to see them put back to a level of normalcy.”
During his visit, Crowley met with Governor Rosselló and talked about the continuing concern about fair treatment for U.S. territories and the historic differential treatment that Puerto Rico has received in Medicare, Medicaid, and tax treatment from the United States. “And to have that said by the governor to us was, I think, poignant as well”, Crowley conclude