Puerto Rico gov, resident commissioner lobby DC over tax reform
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Tuesday that he met Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González in Washington, D.C., to continue the work of the Puerto Rico Statehood Commission, as concern grows over the federal tax reform’s economic impact on the hurricane-battered island.
Rosselló indicated that he expects Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner to present the island’s congressional delegation on the floor of the U.S. House. The governor convened with members of the Statehood Commission created under his administration as well.
The commission, created under Act 30-2017, comprises former Govs. Pedro Rosselló, Carlos Romero Barceló and Luis Fortuño; Puerto Rico Democratic Party President Charlie Rodríguez; Zoraida Fonalledas, national committeewoman of the Republican Party; Baseball Hall of Fame member Iván Rodríguez; and attorney Alfonso Aguilar.
Also present was Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Director Carlos Mercader.
Afterward, the governor met with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), from the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP).Murray is the highest ranking Democratic senator of that commission.
Rosselló said during the meeting that he and Murray discussed “the need to ensure that the fiscal cliff in the Medicaid health program is addressed,” adding thatt last year had been difficult for Puerto Rico and that the island needs equal treatment in the health issue.
The governor seeks to continue lobbying for supplemental disaster relief, as well as to diminish the federal tax reform’s effect on the island. Under the Republican-sponsored reform, Puerto Rico would be treated as a foreign jurisdiction, while stateside companies established in foreign territories would be subject to higher taxes. Puerto Rican officials argue that this move could drive companies from the island, with thousands of jobs at risk.