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PRESS RELEASE: Southern Nevada’s Congressional Delegation Respond to the Ongoing Crisis in Puerto Rico

For Immediate Release:

REPRESENTATIVES FROM SOUTHERN NEVADA’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION COMMENT ON THE ONGOING CRISIS IN PUERTO RICO

Las Vegas, NV – Today, Make the Road Nevada hosted a roundtable with members from the community and representatives from Southern Nevada’s congressional delegation to talk about the current needs in Puerto Rico and how Congress can step in to assist. At the same time, a federal court hearing was taking place to decide what will happen to the island’s $72 billion public debt.

Across the nation many groups, including Make the Road Nevada, are asking for Judge Laura Taylor Swain, the judge presiding over hearings on Puerto Rico’s debt, to eliminate $6 billion in debt that was declared “illegal” by Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board last month and to cancel other parts of the debt.

In today’s roundtable, many commented on what is currently going in Puerto Rico;

Judy Fleishman, a member of the Puerto Rican Association of Las Vegas, issued the following statement:

“The United States says they responded to the disaster and they did, but Puerto Rico continues the need to receive help so they can recover after a hurricane that ended with a big part of the island destroyed. Puerto Rico needs funding and if some of this debt is not eliminated, it will hurt Puerto Rico for a long time.”

Congresswoman Susie Lee issued the following statement:

While Puerto Rico continues to rebuild from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the island, there is another crisis hurting our fellow Americans on the island: the territory’s debt crisis. Congress urgently needs to provide disaster relief and seriously review Puerto Rico’s current debt situation—which is being worsened by predatory practices from hedge funds and private companies taking advantage of an island still trying to rebuild,” said Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03). “I believe it is time for Congress to hold the Financial Management and Oversight Board accountable and address Puerto Rico’s ballooning debt before it’s too late.

Congressman Steven Horsford issued the following statement:

“I firmly support increasing aid to Puerto Rico, and I’ve called on the Trump Administration to release already appropriated funds to help the island. House Democrats have also called for additional relief funds. The Natural Resources Committee, on which I sit, has jurisdiction over Puerto Rico and has committed to look into this issue. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the committee to ensure the people of Puerto Rico receive the resources they need.”

Until Puerto Rican families are unburdened from the illegal debt, they won’t have the chance for a Just Recovery from Maria and from years of austerity.

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Make the Road Nevada (MRNV) builds the power of Latino and working-class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation and transformative education.

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