Puerto Rico gov follows up on request for $600 million in nutrition assistance aid
AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares spoke Monday about the recent meetings he held in Washington, D.C.
One of the issues discussed was the Nutrition Assistance Program’s need for $600 million.
“As you know, there was a letter from the White House saying those $600 million were unnecessary and we explained why it is needed. It is needed because everyone in the United States is under the SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] program and we are in the NAP program. What that means is that in the United States it comes as a block grant and in the states, it comes in a formula. This means each citizen will have 58 percent more in the states than they would in Puerto Rico.
“The relief that had been granted was to mitigate this rampant inequality. With these $600 million, what we are requesting is an extension while we find a permanent solution. It does not make sense that in terms of nutritional assistance aid, Puerto Rico is being given less relative to other jurisdictions,” he reiterated.
Regarding Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds, the governor insisted on the 100 percent exemption request.
“As the president, via [FEMA Administrator] Brock Long, denied that request, we are submitting it again at the congressional level,” he said.
The governor said the approval of the Earned Income Tax Credit was also requested. He also visited the Department of Health and Human Services to follow up on the request for technical assistance from forensic pathologists.
“It requires FEMA to authorize it; if FEMA authorizes it, HHS is already ready to act in the next 10 days,” Rosselló said.
The governor made the remarks in Aguadilla, following a meeting of the majority New Progressive Party board.