Hispanic Federation Statement on President Trump’s Tweets on Puerto Rico “Bailout”

April 27, 2017 (New York, NY) – Hispanic Federation issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s tweets on a “bailout” for Puerto Rico.

“President Trump’s assertions about a ‘bailout’ for Puerto Rico are misinformed and incredibly tone deaf. First, anyone who truly knows what is happening in Puerto Rico knows the situation is beyond dire with dual fiscal cliffs approaching in a matter of days – financial collapse and the end of existing federal funds for health care across the island. Second, Puerto Rico is facing an historically-crippling economic crisis that is directly linked to Washington’s step-child treatment of the commonwealth that is home to over 3 million U.S. Citizens. For decades, the Federal Government has excluded Americans living in Puerto Rico from health care coverage and family tax credits that are otherwise available across the fifty states. Congress can and must do more to assist the families of Puerto Rico and they can start by extending health care funding previously granted to U.S. Citizens and others on the island. Moreover, the President and Congress must come together again to pass an economic stimulus package that protects health care, spurs investment in clean energy and infrastructure, eliminates unfair shipping costs, and enacts parity under the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits.

What is not helpful is ignorant tweets and attempts to use Puerto Rico as a political football during budget negotiations. Instead, President Trump, Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell should lead with compassion by ensuring any budget extension includes vital emergency health care funds for Puerto Rico. The nation’s 8 million Puerto Ricans and 50+ million Latinos are watching closely to see whether the President and Congress are ready to represent all Americans and take needed action that will turn the island’s economic fortunes around.”