Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner González-Colón calls for designation of a federal coordinator

by | Jul 25, 2019 | Congress | Comments

Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón (NPP, R) asked President Donald Trump (R) to designate a federal coordinator as a result of the situation that the islands of Puerto Rico are facing today, as well as, the importance of the federal funds and the protection of the American citizens’ lives and property.

González-Colón has been in conversations with the White House for the designation of a federal coordinator as an option to expedite the disbursement of multi-million-dollar allocations for post-Hurricane Maria recovery. In February, the resident commissioner met with the White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, with whom she discussed the reconstruction process of Puerto Rico, the needs for improvement of federal programs on the island and proposed the appointment of a federal official to oversee the reconstruction coordination.

Several members of Congress and Senators have joined the resident commissioner in this ask including Senator Rick Scott (R) of Florida and Rep. Sean Duffy (R) of Wisconsin.

The letter reads:

 “Dear Mr. President,

 We are concerned that in light of recent events in Puerto Rico, the families of the Island will not receive the support they need in a timely manner. It is evident that there is an urgent need to ensure the coordination of critical decision making and guarantee proper use of disaster funding for the Island’s families.  Greater efficiency and transparency in disbursement of funds is needed so that the people of Puerto Rico, U.S. taxpayers, and the Federal government can be confident in the results.

Ensuring sound management and accountability is important to this process.  The people of Puerto Rico should not be the ones who suffer for the local administration’s improper actions.

Therefore, we consider it urgent that the implementation of critical recovery and review processes be supported by direct federal oversight, which can be achieved through action from your Administration. We encourage you to establish a clearly defined federal coordinator for the reconstruction of Puerto Rico. This would be a valuable tool towards the goal of helping those families and communities in need. 

A federal coordinator, under your Administration, would have the mission to increase transparency and improve project execution standards on processes related to federal funding for the Island to recover. This coordinator would ensure funds are disbursed properly and promptly to meet the needs of the people of Puerto Rico.

The designation of a Federal Coordinator is consistent with precedents from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. The designation of a single federal coordinator for Puerto Rico creates a unique opportunity to execute your vision to rebuild America stronger than ever before, help those in need in Puerto Rico, and do so with proper oversight. We fought aggressively to ensure the recent recovery bill had significant support for the families of Puerto Rico, and we believe this level of accountability to the U.S. taxpayers is key while the money is distributed quickly to those in need.

 We greatly value your time and consideration for these important matters.”