Top government leadership visits Congress to insert Puerto Rico in budgetary discussions

by | May 30, 2017 | Congress | Comments

Governor Ricardo Rosselló, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González, and Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz joined forces today in an effort from the federal capital to insert Puerto Rico into the discussion of the United States budget.

The officials attended the meetings accompanied by the executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), Carlos Mercader, and took the opportunity to talk with federal representatives and senators about the importance of the status plebiscite to be held in Puerto Rico on June 11.

Earlier today, the top Puerto Rican leadership met with federal House Speaker Paul Ryan.

During the meeting, they stressed the importance that Congress gives way to the budget recommendation for the Island. At the same time, they requested his commitment to achieve the decolonization of Puerto Rico.

Faced with this request, Speaker Ryan acknowledged that the political status of Puerto Rico is a fundamental problem and it is important to deal with it in order to achieve the Island’s economic recovery.

“We are united in Washington, DC, making sure Congress addresses the issue of Puerto Rico and the needs of the American citizens residing in Puerto Rico. The disparity in healthcare allocations and the political status have to be addressed as a civil rights issue. This has been our emphasis at each of the meetings today,” expressed the chief executive.

Meanwhile, the resident commissioner agreed that, “the pursuit of equality is an effort of all and a civil rights issue.”

“To have one out of one hundred American citizens with unequal status and lacking full representation is too much. The unequal treatment of our veterans, military, and their families is an affront to their dignity. All parties agree that the current status is insufficient. We have the tools to end this inequality now, we have a consultation that even meets the last requirements of the federal Department of Justice. We are preparing Congress to jointly take swift action and enforce the will of the people of Puerto Rico.”

“Puerto Rico has to vote on June 11 to give me the tools to fight for more economic resources for the Island and its development. We thanked Speaker Ryan for including Puerto Rico in Medicaid and raised the importance of the funds that are missing to end the fiscal year 2018,” she added.

On the other hand, the president of the Senate stressed that, “today’s meetings seek to educate the members of Congress on the importance of solving the problem of political status to achieve the economic recovery of Puerto Rico.”

The executive director of PRFAA said that, “today we have talked with the congressional leadership to strengthen our relations with the federal government and in turn educate on the health issue and the tax reform processes that our Administration has set forth on the Island.”

“Our agenda is a very ambitious one in search of the best interests of Puerto Rico and these visits help us to take the precise information to continue working in reaching the goals,” added Mercader.

They also thanked the acknowledgement of Speaker Ryan, when he granted the Congressional Gold Medal to the Borinqueneers, former members of the 65th Infantry Regiment of the United States Army.

After the meeting with Ryan, the chief executive attended—along with the resident commissioner and the PRFAA director—the office of Senator from Utah, Michael S. Lee (R).

Senator Lee acknowledged the important contribution of Puerto Ricans as American citizens in the United States military service.

Subsequently, the government officials met with the president of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rob Bishop (R).

During the afternoon, the governor continues the day of meetings in Congress and then moves overnight to New York where he will attend several meetings with the Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.