On November 7, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding the continued urgency to provide relief and recovery aid to Puerto Rico. The statement is printed in full below:
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI):
Mr. Speaker, I rise to highlight the continuing urgency of providing relief and recovery aid for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, which were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. While U.S. efforts have ramped up after a failed initial response, we can and must do more. In Puerto Rico, some 70 shelters remain open, access to safe drinking water is a problem, and there are dozens of waterborne disease deaths. Nearly a third of hospitals are still running off generators, bridges remain destroyed, and many roads remain impassable. Nearly 60 percent of the island is without power. The news is not better for the Virgin Islands, where many still lack access to cell service, power, and clean water. Officials estimate $5.5 billion is needed for the most essential needs there. Mr. Speaker, there are less than 20 legislative days left on the House calendar. How can we be prioritizing tax cuts for the wealthy? Let’s put together fair and strong hurricane relief packages for communities ravaged by these hurricanes, including those in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.