US House approves $600 million for the Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico
As had been expected by Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (NPP, R), the House of Representatives approved the Disaster Assistance Project (HR 2157) that includes an additional $600 million for the Nutrition Assistance Program (PAN).
“Just as I undertook to extend the supplementary disaster aid for the purchase of food in Puerto Rico, today I can announce its approval by both legislative bodies within the disaster assistance project that will go to the office of President Trump, who already promised to sign it. The past months have been concrete efforts whose results we see today. I thank Senators Shelby, McConnell, Scott and Rubio, as well as Congressmen Nita Lowey, Schumer and Pelosi for allowing the agreement that grants us the funds today. I also thank the White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, and the President for allowing this help that is so necessary for the island,” stated González-Colón.
Today I met with @HUDgov @SecretaryCarson and his team to discuss the disbursement status of the billions in disaster relief funding we secured in Congress for #PuertoRico through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. pic.twitter.com/UJv6fk8T21
— Jenniffer González (@RepJenniffer) June 4, 2019
The bill approved in Congress benefits Puerto Rico in the following:
- $600 million for the Nutrition Assistance Program (PAN) for Puerto Rico that will be available until September 30, 2020.
- $5 million additional to study impact on the use of PAN funds in Puerto Rico on food security.
- $331,442,114 in CDBG DR funds, to assist in infrastructure-related activities that have not been obtained within the previous supplemental allocation in areas affected by Hurricane Maria; this money is for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
- The requirement that the federal US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) publish the rules of authorization of federal funds for Puerto Rico. In Section 1102, it requires that within a period of 90 days after the approval of this law that publication be made on any notification of allocation of pending funds. This provision would give Puerto Rico access to more than $8.3 billion already allocated and that the government has not yet been able to receive because of not having the regulations ready.
- HUD is required to make an investment of at least $6 million for all audit costs for everything that has to do with disasters.
“This achievement is a result of a collaborative effort with Governor Rosselló, the Puerto Rico legislature along with the private sector and the food industry. Now, the only thing missing is the signature of the President, who has agreed on its approval in order to get this bill to become a reality to all the affected jurisdictions” said the Resident Commissioner.