Washington, DC – U.S. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement today in response to the ongoing crises in Puerto Rico:

“As the House of Representatives concludes its first week back from the spring recess, my Republican colleagues are up to their obstructionist antics even more so than usual, and this time at the great expense of the people of Puerto Rico. House Republicans’ continued refusal to take responsible action on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis – or to even hold Thursday’s House Natural Resources Committee markup on their proposed bill – is extraordinarily disappointing and reckless.

“Their rejection of reasonable changes to the debt bill only serves to exacerbate a significant public health crisis on the island – the Zika virus. The CDC announced this week that the confirmed Zika cases in Puerto Rico could soon be in the thousands. House Republicans’ response to this news was to reject an Appropriations Committee amendment I offered with my colleagues, Reps. Nita Lowey and Rosa DeLauro, which would have provided the Administration’s $1.9 billion emergency supplemental funding request to combat the Zika virus.

“While the people of Puerto Rico face both a financial and public health crisis, House Republicans have decided the best course of action is to sit on their hands. Let me be very clear – doing nothing to help Puerto Rico is not an option. ”


On Friday, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz joined with Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey and Labor-HHS Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro urging Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers to hold a special meeting on the Administration’s request for emergency supplemental funding to respond to the Zika virus.

Under the rules of the Appropriations Committee, three members may request the Chairman convene a special meeting. If the Chairman fails to schedule such a meeting within seven calendar days, a majority of the Committee Members may convene a special meeting on their own.