tv Sen. Schumer Lawmakers on Puerto Rico Hurricane Damage CSPAN September 20, 2022 8:20pm-9:24pm EDT
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devastating damage in puerto rico. lawmakers scheduled the briefing to mark the five-year anniversary of hurricane maria and noted how the island had yet to fully recover with the latest storm hit. [background noises] [background noises] [background noises] [laughter] [background noises] >> good morning. my name is frank i am the president ceo of the hispanic federation. thank you all for coming today.
i want to thank our friends and champions from puerto rico the members of congress who are here today. thank you, thank you so much. but i also want to acknowledge the people who cannot be here today withh us. reagan's that you will not get to meet. who sadly were prevented from becoming because once again devastating hurricane has struck the island of puerto rico. almost exactly five years to the day that hurricane maria cause such a dire devastation. the reason we were gathering here today it was to talk about five years ago when maria hit the islands. the people of puerto rico, they were still vulnerable under blue tarps with damaged infrastructure or reliable power. our worst nightmare took place, here hurricane fiona. it is still too soon to know the full extent of the damage or loss of life caused by hurricane
fiona. we will only learn that in the days to come. what we do know is that hurricane maria, the loss of life it continues after the hurricane left. largely because people did not have access to electricity which powered their oxygen or dialysi machines, or kept their insulin cold they could not travel to get medical care. or because hospitals themselves did not have electricity to treat patients. we also know, we have been saying for years is true. five years after hurricane maria puerto rico's infrastructure was not going to be able to withstand in the next hurricane. sadly, we were right. once again the entire island lost power after a complete blackout on sunday. as of this morning we know that only approximately 164,000 households have electricity.
this means that in a population of 3000089% of households are without power. more than 66% are without access to drinkable water. right after hurricane maria hispanic federation established operations in puerto rico with permanent staff and office printer happy to report our team and their families are safe. they have been tirelessly working in preparation for hurricane fiona. they already have distributed 11000 solar in the days leading to the hurricane and as soon as it is safe to be back on the roads they will be at our warehouse coordinating the delivery of another 20000 solar lands and other emergency supplies to or more than 100 partners, community-based organizations around the island. we also deliver power generators to some of the islands more vulnerable patients on dialysis.
we plan to distribute more in the days to come. we have also immediately launched a fund of $100,000 emergency assistance to respond to the immediate needs of the most vulnerable on the island throughout our network of community based organizations. that was created five years ago when local government collapsed and the trumpt administration failed the people of puerto rico. these are the organization that step into care for the sick, feed the hungry and provide support in the midst of so much despair. we hope that people across the country will support these efforts so that we can do more because we know the need is great. i am happy to say puerto rico central government response is working much better this time and some lessons have been learned. however, depending upon which community we are looking at the needs range from being safe to
dyer. especially the most vulnerable and disadvantagede communities. and for residents who are still living under blue tarps or who are still waiting for their homes to be repaired since hurricane maria. no matter how effective government response is we will always need community-based organizations to reach the most vulnerable. one of our main asked to the federal government is to facilitate the delivery of aid and money to nonprofits on the ground who in many cases can access, provide and supply the needs and distribute the aid faster and more efficiently than government is able too. our top tape action for puerto rico priority continues to be to push congress and the administration to use of federal dollars wisely to build a resilient puerto rico. the island has received the largest grant and fema history,
over 12 billion to rebuild its energy grid. congress should use its oversight authority to ensure the money is being invested funds that will help puerto rico reach its own legislative set goals. to be one 100% renewable energy by 2050. instead as mystic plans to bring put forward by a private energy company, luma, to continue investing in keeping puerto rico energy independent on fossil fuels. this is a travesty in congress inviting administration must put a stop to it. the u.s. departmentt of energy n study found rooftop solar energy can beat up 85% of puerto rico household energy needs. excuses are keeping that from becoming a reality. one small important example the different of rooftop solar systems could make partners or
reinstalling fuller entry systems and health clinics across puerto rico. yesterday we were able to reach a few centers and confirm they are functioning intended emergency critical services are fully operational despite no power coming in from the electric grid. this is why we say solar saves lives. continue to bring together people and organizations to raise awareness stimulate cooperation and take action on critical issues for puerto rico five years after hurricane maria and irma debited the island this includes just and sustainable recovery, equity is an end to discrimination by federaler government and a return democrat self-governance for puerto rico and putting an end to the financial oversight and management board for puerto rico. and now i want to introduce a great friend of the federation and champion of puerto rico
senate majority leader chuck schumer. [applause] thank you, thank you franky. it is good to be here. iha once again want to thank yo, franky, the hispanic federation, all of your members for the great job you are doing bringing the supplies and generators to those who desperately need them the most is so important. god bless you for what your are doing. now, this had been planned before fiona. we were supposed to be here today to mark the fifth anniversary of hurricane maria. and devastating weather events. the deadliest natural disaster to hit u.s. territory in 100 years. the deadly stop second, not third, the deadliest. as many of you remember, maria expose the weaknesses of the infrastructure on the island and the callousness, remember the
paper towels? the callousness of the federal response by the trump administration. despite the shameful disdain and ineptitude of previous administrations i am glad to say along with my colleagues here centers of blumenthal and menendez in the senate congress members from the house, we were able to deliver $21 billion, $21 billion to our fellow citizens in puerto rico to deal with housing, healthcare, water. half of it went to power. not a lack of money. listen to this, according to gao of that $21 billion, only 22% has been spent -- 2%. the island was already devastated by maria and lay it open to even more devastation by
fiona since things were not fixed. is that outrageous? in a large part that was due to the trump administration callousness and action. it's also because thehe ongoing conflict on the island for what resources should power puerto rico. 12 billion of that was for getting a new poweriv grid. half of that funding, devastated by maria. while the department of energy, the amount are working to support on that puerto rico energy bureau has hamstrung those efforts. instead of getting power to the people, instead of making a resilient grid ate locally. they are busy fighting with each other. it is outrageous. specifically the puerto rico energy bureau has approved a
yplan for renewable energy by 2025. has fought back pushing on greater use of natural gas in island that is so susceptible to natural disasters it is ridiculous that the energy generated on the south side of the island and then using old time tables and wires the northside makes no sense but we need resilient power. we need the power it right where it is generated by solar energy, by rooftops, by non- pollution on it long pushed alongside of almost everybody here today for a grid that reflects the call of the people that as resilient to storms because it is made up of the microgrids, local grids. is not hundreds of miles of power lines exposed to weather and hurricanes and earthquakes that has to deliver the energy
to most of where the people -live. i needs to be resilient and in the community. and we need to make sure that these microgrids the $12 billion is used for. climate change only make storms worse we need to ensure puerto rico so i pushed hard to pass inflation reduction act reducing the emissions making storms more extreme bipartisan infrastructure act which made at landmark investments in resilience. unfortunately today, unfortunately we are confronted once again with the number of devastating natural disaster, hurricane fiona left our fellow
citizens in puerto rico without power, running water and some without a roof over their heads. as of this morning, more than 1 million customers on the island are without power, a lot more than a million people. and all of them lost poweral before the storm. even made landfall. the situation is a disaster. enough is enough. the puerto rican energy bureau must push not only to restore power, but to once and for all create a distributed more resilient grid. we will back them up. these two agencies cannot stand in the weight once again again. you have seen by their inaction the disaster and the harm for puerto rico. that is my first focus on the energy. we have to do more of course
there is an immediate emergency. yesterday i was on the phone with some of my colleagues. they called me, we got together and got on the phone. we talked to the fema administrator last night and asked her that our government be ready to approve one 100% cost share for all emergency protective services that puerto rico conducts. this government does not have the government to lay it out in the people are suffering and they are our fellow citizens. that means covering the islands cost for distribute food, water, disaster and emergency medical care. am also proud to support myi' colleagues for moreup flexibiliy in assessing federal disaster assistance. sometimes the bureaucracy gets in the way of the real needs oft the people, while ensuring puerto rico that we build stronger than before. as of late last week the fema disaster fund, we pushed for
this. senator menendez, blumenthal and i pushed to have the fema funds be flush with the money. it is it has $15 billion. so on the power side, the electricity side and on the emergency relief side there is oh enough money it's not a money issue it's getting the money towards native both in the short term and the long term. we also sent a letter from the new york delegation calling on fema to be ready to support puerto rico on any upcoming request for aid trade including a major disaster declaration that will unlock the long-term funds needed for recovery as well as to respond. and this morning i'm doing another letter supporting puerto rico's recent application for. that. look folks, we have a lot more work to do. in the immediate time get the dollars out for get them out quickly do not make puerto rico have to find the money to pay the 25%. and in the long term make sure
these dollars are used so there is a resilient, moderate grid system we are no longer coming back here after the next hurricane and saying half the people puerto rico do not have power. thank you everybody. [applause] x thank you, senator schumer very much expressing so much of us believe. next shipment for puerto rico to help the island help the people recover from maria. will continue those efforts now. >> thank you. i want to thank the hispanic to shine the spotlight were needs to be shown. to make sure to take action for puerto rico campaign is not advocating a lumber it elected leader standing with yout here
today feel as strongly as you do will not stop until relief is granted. i could not it said it better than senate majority leader chuck schumer he is exactly right. now is the time to act. the federal government to do its job, the federal government has to help the peopleed puerto rico survive, recover and rebuild and rebuild stronger and rebuild better and be built at a more resilient way. i am very grateful for the senators who are here. better blumenthal and senator menendez for the continued. have also worked tirelessly to make a difference. what do you think media for always being at the forefront for the needs of people puerto rico. for always being the one to call me and asked me for help when it is needed. today we were initially supposed to be here to make the five-year anniversary of maria.
that's the purpose of us getting together. now we are here asking for more aid, more support more help because the devastating outcome of what's happened over the pasa several days. indoor hurricane pewter touchdown this weekend, thousands of homes in puerto rico still had nothing but a tattered blue tarp as a roof. can you imagine what it would be to live without a roof over your head? it is unacceptable. the government had only completed 21% official post hurricane projects. and only five of the allen 78 mesa polity said at least half of the projects in the region had been completed. the conditions following the devastation of maria have forced manyue families to leave puerto rico. it has left thousands of those that were still there in jeopardy for the next hurricane,
the next earthquake, the next drought, the next flood. now the hurricane has hit and only time will tell howco devastating the outcome will be. we have 3.1 million fellow americans living in puerto rico. we have to stand by them in their time of need it. we have to come to their support. senator schumer and i are calling on fema to stand ready and if requested to work with the affected areas of puerto rico to determine whether the damage needs the statutory duties. i grew senator schumer there should be one 100% federal support and not requiring the matching funds from puerto rico, a place that has been so devastated under resourced for years. and because i sit on the egg committee have introduced a bill to enable puerto rico to participate in the snap program. that puerto rico nutritious active 2022 would readdress the
injustice done to puerto rico when is excluded from the snap w program and 1981. so these are just simple changes we have to make a now to meet the need of our puerto rican brothers and sisters. i stand ready to fight for them. [applause] >> thank you so much for that. that is the passion and the leadership we need to see today and moving forward for puerto rico. there is no one moreon passionae in congress than he forced a puerto rican woman elected to congress who left a very important committee hearing to be with us today. so without further ado i like to introduce congresswoman. [applause] >> good morningng everyone. thank you. it is a difficult time for all of us, for puerto ricans in puerto rico here and the
mainland. a year ago we stood here, discussing maria. a year agor i said there puerto rican power grid was not where it needed tod be. it's not even a category one the collapse of the power grid. and here we are today. look, we have sent a lot of letters. i had a meeting was schumer. i also met with the speaker. we have been asking what needed to be asked. we have two issues here. one is that we must recognize the responsibility of the federal government. because we have an economy the
economy of the united states. and as a colony the federal government has responsibilities. the priority of a blank check to puerto rico so you deal with it. the lack of oversight from agencies regarding the use of funding in puerto rico. and because of that today the puerto rico people have not electricity but they have not water. i don't know people have died already. we do not know how many lives will be lost as the result of fiona. so i am asking the u.s. congress to pass a supplemental paired to provide assistance that puerto rico needs.
we do not know yet how much it has to be provided. we are just waiting for the governor of puerto rico to conduct in the finalize the assessment. but in the meantime fema is responding. the difference this time and last time as a president the particulate fema to put assets on the ground. because of that we need to do much more. let me just say this, to the government of puerto rico. senator schumer is correct. we need to put all the pressure to make sure puerto rico moves from fossil fuel to a more neresilience energy source.
and that is the issue. otherwise we are going to be here again, and again. because of climate is a serious issue that is not going to go away. particularly in the caribbean islands with climate change with all of these going in their way. i want to conclude by saying if this is not enough evidence the contract with luma to privatize the electrical grid is failing, then i don't know what is. eaone year ago i said i stood he and i warned the federal government and the people of puerto rico time and again, even before the storm. puerto ricans have been left in the dark by luma.
we need a sustainable climate resilient electrical future for puerto rico. today i'm introducing a house resolution to honor the 3000 plus lives lost to hurricane maria and to reaffirm the federal government commitment to the people of puerto rico. it's the recognition of the responsibility that we have with the people puertoo rico. we must act. that means we need to do proper oversight to make sure that the people of puerto rico are provided with these solutions that will provide the kind of future they all deserve. and then, in terms of policy it
is about equity. it is about providing equal resources that we do in the united states to every state into every american citizen. the puerto rican people are american citizens living inng puerto rico deserve nothing less. thank you. [applause] thank you so much congresswoman. it goes without saying the people standing here are here because they care about puertoe rico. that goes just as much right t next to speakers. senator blumenthal from the great state of connecticut senator menendez from new jersey, thank you. >> thank you. thank you to congresswoman for her eloquent. thank you two senators gillibrand and schumer have been such good champions into my
colleague senator menendez who spent the forefront of this sfight into the hispanic federation, thank you. thankni you miranda and everyon. most of i want to recognize the courage and strength of the people of puerto rico. i visited puerto rico very soon after maria. and i expected to find people in despair, without hope. the people of puerto rico have courage, and resilience, and strength that is beyond words. and to them i want to say, you are not alone. we are going to have your back. the time of throwing paper towels and counting it as action is over. we are going to demand real action from the federal government. not just rhetoric but rebuilding andd recovery. the people of america let me
just say we have an obligation to our fellow americans paid the time for second-class citizenship's to the people puerto rico is also over. their neighbors and friends in connecticut, new york and aroune the country friends, neighbors, and puerto rico are going through indescribable suffering. i havee seen it after maria, after the tornado. we visited puerto rico manna, many times right just admire the strength and resilience of the purple puerto rico we need a major disaster declaration. now we need that 15 billion provided toow puerto rico, now. we need rebuilding of schools and hospitals, now. we need rebuilding of the grid, not just rebuilding in the sense
of restoring the transmission lines on poles, but a different approach to powering the island. puerto rico can beat the forefront of renewable energy. we simply need to make the investment grade that is a keyword, investment in puerto rico. that has to be done now. i think, having observed what happened in the wake of maria that a lot of the fault is on fema. we have a new fema now. we have new leadership in fema. we are going to hold it accountable, we are going to do the oversight. we are going to be on fema like a hawk to make sure there is delivery. actual performance. not just rhetoric but robust action. let me just close by saying the
share of the federal government provides has to be one 100%. but more than the dollars, out of a fema fund we need a real commitment to provide better tax treatment, the full snap program, medicare, all the government programs have to treat puerto rico equally. because in the long run, investing in puerto rico is investing in america and americans. and that must be a recognition that the people of the united states except proudly, the people of puerto rico have talent, energy, gifts that they bring to america. this investment is in the american tradition of national interest. thank you all for being here. [applause] lookse] well, let me take off wk center blumenthal ended.
you heard from three new yorkers to start the program. this is not about new york. and it is not about connecticut, it's not about new jersey, it's not about florida. it is about the united states of america. it is 3.12 million united states citizens who get treated differently of the united states. and that is unacceptable. it is unacceptable and it is un-american. puerto ricans put on the uniform of the united states and have served in every conflict in its history. the most decorated military unit actually got a congressional gold medal of gold medal means nothing if you do not treat your fellow citizens and await with dignity and respect. so i am glad we have many
colleagues in the senate now. one time i felt rather lonely advocating for puerto rico. i was considered the puerto rico senator. i remember five years ago i had a bipartisan to go see hurricane maria paid force of the trumpmp administration canceled my military plane to go. thinking somehow i would not go part i got myself on a relief flight and they showed up in puerto rico. and i still have the images today. i keep them on my phone, hundreds of images of communities devastated. bridges a washed out. of homes destroyed. it reminds me every day. so, while this was supposed to be a commemoration, it actually is another call to action. but this time in addition to supporting and i am organizing, and effort to support and send a
clear message to the administration for the disaster declaration when the governor of puerto rico submits it'd make it happen right away but i believe the biden administration will do that. it is already shown its willingness to support puerto ricans, our fellow u.s. citizens and tangible ways, not with paper towels. but intangible ways. but it needs it support edit needs it now. but here's what also needs. it needs congress to exercise its oversight and its effort to ensure. it doesn't matter that youor appropriate disaster money if it doesn't end up going to the people of puerto rico. if it does not create an energy grid that is resilient so that when ever next hurricane or natural disaster, the lights stay on. the lights stay on. so i am all for, at the biggest champion i was against the oversight board, i led a mini
filibuster on the senate floor that i did not think it was right. but i've got to be honest with you, the federal government's gotta get its act together with the government of puerto rico has to exercise efforts over those energy entities to ensure relief of the puerto rican people. this is all hands on deck. and no finger-pointing. and get the job done. so i will close by saying [speaking in native language]. be honest. [speaking in native language]. [speaking in native language]. [speaking in native language].
him him him, it's hard to keep from crying listening to this. what is different. it is to hear such a strong support and championship in the senate, in the house. it is a world away we appreciate it soe much. it's exactly what we need to do it others have called for. doesn't face another fiona. from florida which oversees puerto rico and the new territory. thank you.
the remembrance of hurricane maria did deadliest disaster we pray for our brothers and sisters on the island. we also pray for our brotherss and sisters in the virgin islands. the path of hurricane fiona. as importantly we are committed to action, we applaud president biden emergency declaration together welcome centers are
coming together. what a difference five years makes. before you get any real action from the trump administration. president biden acted swiftly, preemptively, proactively to make sure fema is putting places for lives and help with the recovery. we know requests were asking for for the various types of relief. we also know puerto rico cannot afford to pay. in the federal government be paying for one 100% my plot all of our colleagues in the senate as well as a house to make sure
help with these types of emergencies. the last thing i will say is this is all the more important why we continue to combat climate change. with the inflation reduction act, with the infrastructure law, where we traded -- treated puerto rico equally for the storms are going to continue to get worse. like the wildfires out westbury like the flooding in the southeast. our own state of florida as a thing or two about hurricanes and resiliency. we got hit by hurricane mark right before hurricane maria. we stand with our brothers and sisters back on the island. . [speaking in native language]. [speaking in native language]. [speaking in native language].
[speaking in spanish] >> thank you so much, congressman. we have two more membersrs of congress as well as the representative here in washington, d.c. who will be able to give us some of the latest updates so we appreciate you being here. standing in the sun this long although when you think about what it's like it is just a beautiful day to be here. so i'd like to introduce congressman torres. >> five years later we stand
here reeling back from fiona and the damages that puerto rico and the caribbean's have endured. in many ways, this is so because of the government's inability to allow the funding to get to puerto rico. they've been sent here over and over again. it's not a money problem but it was the lack of wealth from government to make sure that the dollars got there and for them to be given. the population in puerto rico had decreased since hurricane maria by 4% and that is due to a government's inability to get the dollars to puerto rico.
while we are seeing today the flooding, the massive flooding that we are seeing today in puerto rico, the collapse of the power grid that was expected, it is directly connected to the negligence to the previous administration to allow the flow of the dollars to get to puerto rico so we must change that. we do that by making sure it is a full-fledged disaster and of the cost is picked up. puerto rico and the government cannot afford five years later to pick up the massive costs the owner has put on the budgets.
remarks about the puerto rican people and the future so i stand ready to assist. i was there very early on during maria and i will go back to puerto rico and the dominican republic to ensure that the resources get there and that they have what they need. i was on a call today and i was told 90% of the people in puerto rico today right now as we speak don't have access to electricity and 60% don't have access to water and this is after maria. this should have been resolved and finalized a long time ago but of course we saw how bureaucracy grind at its way to a halt and allowed to puerto rico from getting the resources they need to rebuild the power grid and make sure the impact we
[speaking in spanish] nowhere is the legacy more painfully filled with fan in the electric grid that has been a never-ending nightmare. in the most wealthy countries in the world of the people of puerto rico, american citizens have no electricity inn the wort of times and no reliable or affordable electricity in the best of times despite paying the
highest electricity bills in tho country. not one, two, three but a seven rate increases in the span of a single year but the deniable from the electric grid to puerto rico and at the federal government must leverage every tool at its disposal to cut through the red tape and expedite the rebuilding of the power grid. the same electricity the people of america take for granted but the issue is not only the electric grid, but the second class grid is symptomatic of a deeper problem that the
treatment of puerto rico as second-class citizens and nowhere is colonialism more evident than in the purity of the financial oversight managementem board commonly knon which is stripped puerto rico. to be the sponsor of the trust act which would expedite the elimination and to bring democracy to the island and put power back where it belongs. >> thank you so much, congressman.
with the law center to talk about what it is like actually living ont the island during times like this and with the federal government needs to do to help people now. wanting to help puerto rico to make sure that they can get help and get support as fast as possible. no one disaster is similar to another. maria was a wind event with wind as high as 200 miles per hour. fiona had gusts of 100 miles per hour in the south part of the
island but it was a rain event and we've seen flooding in areas that we've never seen before and ief keep looking and we are seeg a flooding in the south and people are surprised they loved everything. there's been not much loss of life, but every life that we lose because of a national disaster is with all the families that today are suffering in puerto rico because of the loss of life. we speak and support all of our friends and families on the island now without power and water. the two national disasters are not the same. the administrations are not equally and we are seeing the difference in the administration and of the biden harris administration. there was an opportunity, the governor was able to fix the staffers and the deputy
secretaries who arrived wanting to know what's going on in puerto rico and how they can help. fema learned many lessons and this time around had warehouses full of water and it's going to begin the distribution today. puerto rico was still inye the process and it was still raining you. i'm happy to say today that the sun has come out and with my people in puerto rico that will work together to survive this and come out stronger and resilient with a sustainable and resilient power grid. i want to thank the federation they've always been here as well as a nonprofit organization ready to help the island. a few weeks ago as we were approaching the anniversary of the devastation i'm wondering
about the lessons learned and the challenges that lie ahead. none of us would have dealt with another national disaster today. in the response and recovery. i'm glad to say, happy to say that despite the obstacles we face under the previous administration in the last 15 months have been able working with the department of energy to make sure puerto rico has the power it deserves and is resilient and stronger to stand national disasters like the one we just experienced. today while we still learn and reflect on how our lives changed
forever after the worst disaster in puerto rico, we continue to move forward with resiliency. to deal with national disasters there are still improvements to be made regarding and you've heard the congressmen and congressman andsenators spoke t. it becomes very palpable. the lack of funding for medicaid, medicare doesn't emphasize. this time it shows the most
vulnerable populations are treated as second-class citizens. the citizens of puerto rico to improve their quality of life and all other challenges that may arise. history repeats it self. the same quality of life and their brothers and sisters in the mainland. we will continue to work with puerto rico and will not rest until we receive equal treatment in healthcare, social security. thank you so much for your support. thank you everybody that has stayed until this time. thank you for bringing me here
today. i am the director of the organizations in puerto rico. they try to npower the local organizations and small businesses in the recovery process and that a company's community leaders in the process in the communities and the process of rehabilitation and recovery. two hurricanes have been revised. the earthquake and through all that it is p the local organizations that have done the recovery that has happened in puerto rico. other speakers have said today federal funds for recovery
haven't been the source of reconstruction in any way. the framework of the disaster recovery has to change because federal funds have to go directly into the hands of the civil society for work to be done and effective solutions to be found. the hurricane that happened, the category one hurricane left all the people in puerto rico in the dark. it's not only about not having electric grid system. it's about not having listened to civil societies in puerto rico that have been time and time again demanding centralized
solar microgrid in their community. this is not new. studies have to be made. we've already presented these to congress, fema, hard, all the agencies. there has to be direct action. the other disaster, and i met with community leaders last night, sunday night, about what's happening in their home and getting us to the second level because the flooding has been so catastrophic in the community even worse than in hurricane maria in many places. we've been calling out since day one after maria for the response to be used effectively. water waste has to be mitigated and so that the communities are
not continually displaced froml their homes because of any storm that happens to puerto rico, flooding is catastrophic because mitigation is not streamlined with reconstruction. again, local groups and entities know the solutions of what needs to be done in order for federal funds to be spent in an efficient way, and they are ready to work to raise the red flags necessary to guarantee transparency and the correct use of these funds. but the framework has to change and federal government has to realize that it has to work and incorporated language. participation of civil society leaders in the planning processes. if not, youil all are going to e
wasting money down the drain. i am here and we will bring the delegation that wasn't able to come this week. we are ready to be heard and trying to get meetings in the offices on the hill to be heard, so i call on all of you to promote this and for everybody to open the door for the puerto rican leaders that are doing the job on the ground so thank you so much, everybody. >> thank you. as we said in the beginning we are heartbroken that the people from the islands were going to be here to tell you first hand about watching people depend on dialysis daily come to the center or come in after they've missed treatment because power continues to go off and they die because their bodies do not
recover or the attorney that represents men while in the picture that's been disabled and bedbound since h birth, his parents are disabled. the injustice that they do not qualify to receive the same federal benefits, that of citizens in the u.s., if they lived in florida they would get it but because they are in puerto rico they do not work elizabeth who worked with housing communities and housing counseling to tell you about the fact federal m money is being ud eto entice people to move from their home instead of being given to them to repair their home. we are sorry you can't hear their stories but i't encourage you, their statements are linked in the press release and i encourage you to click on those, read their words and continue to cover what is happening on the island not
just today, not just becauseer there is another disaster but going forward to make sure we do not stand here again next year still talking about the fact people in puerto rico do not have the energy that eethey need to stay alive for te water that they need to drink and cook. it's unacceptable and the take action for puerto rico campaign and hispanic federation are going to continue to do everything we can every day to make sure that that doesn't happen.ny >> if we have any questions we are happy toio take them. >> thank you so much. >> thank you for being here.
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