Lowey Introduces Puerto Rico Earthquake Supplemental

January 28, 2020
Press Release
Legislation provides $4.67 billion for educational needs, transportation infrastructure repairs, and disaster relief activities

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), today introduced an emergency supplemental appropriations bill to provide support to Puerto Rico following a series of recent earthquakes. The legislation is expected to be considered in the House next week.

The legislation provides $4.67 billion in assistance to Puerto Rico, with significant funding for educational needs, repairs to transportation infrastructure, and community development activities.

“Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico have urgent needs following recent earthquakes. While President Trump has finally released some of the aid Congress has already appropriated for hurricanes, more support is clearly needed,” Chairwoman Lowey said. “House Democrats’ emergency supplemental appropriations bills provides targeted assistance to help families and communities recover from these devastating earthquakes and puts the island on a better path to long-term recovery.”

Among its provisions, the emergency supplemental introduced by Chairwoman Lowey includes:

  • $6.75 million for technical assistance to conduct earthquake risk analysis, enhance long-term energy planning, improve energy sector situational awareness, and strengthen cybersecurity of critical infrastructure;
  • $15 million for technical assistance to enhance real-time situational awareness and continued recovery support of the electric grid;
  • $100 million to meet the educational needs of individuals affected by recent disasters and emergencies;
  • $1.25 billion for repairs to road systems damaged by recent disasters and emergencies;
  • $3.26 billion in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds for disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, economic revitalization, and mitigation; and
  • $40 million for disaster nutrition assistance in Puerto Rico.

The supplemental also allows comingling of funds provided in this legislation and previous emergency supplementals. It also requires the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in consultation with other Federal agencies, to complete the consultation on electrical grid funding for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands within 30 days and to issue a Federal Register notice within 60 days.

In addition to the appropriations provisions, the supplemental includes the Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, tax provisions related to Puerto Rico relief and recovery that are in the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The text of the emergency supplemental, H.R. 5687, is here. A summary of H.R. 5687 is here.

116th Congress