September 27, 2017

Senator Hassan Calls for Urgent Action to Address Crisis in Puerto Rico

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Click here for video of the hearing.

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today pushed acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke on the Trump Administration’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and called for urgent federal action to get resources to Puerto Rico. Senator Hassan questioned Acting Secretary Duke at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.

“As a former governor, I know how important those [federal] resources are. It is why I am very concerned to hear from my friend, former Governor of Puerto Rico Alejandro Garcia Padilla that relief efforts to this point have failed to make its way to those most in need,” Senator Hassan said.

Senator Hassan read excerpts from a message she received from former Governor Garcia Padilla last night.

Governor Padilla wrote, “The situation is critical. There is no electricity anywhere on the island and only 40% of customers have running water. Hospitals are on the verge of collapse and many have had to transfer all their patients to other overstrained facilities because they have run out of gas or diesel for their generators…This is happening in America, today…The 3.5 million Americans that call Puerto Rico Home need immediate, massive assistance from Washington.”

Senator Hassan strongly urged Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke to address the dire situation in Puerto Rico and get more federal resources to Americans there as quickly as possible.

“We have American lives at stake here and I would urge you and the Department to do everything you can,” Senator Hassan said. She also expressed concerns that the federal government had not acted before the storm to better prepare and pre-position resources. “I am concerned about why there weren’t more assets on their way to Puerto Rico as soon as the storm hit, we are almost a week out now.”

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