Before Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, NPP-PR, announced on Wednesday that he would resign next week, a key Republican from the Sunshine State called on President Donald Trump to name a federal coordinator to oversee disaster relief to Puerto Rico.
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, PNP-PR, sent a letter to Trump asking the Administration to appoint a federal coordinator to oversee responsible implementation of Puerto Rico’s disaster funding. The coordinator will ensure disaster relief funding gets to the Island’s families in a transparent and efficient manner.
“Recent events in Puerto Rico demonstrate just how much the island needs real leadership,” Scott said on Wednesday. “A federal coordinator will make sure that families in Puerto Rico get the help they need following the devastation of Hurricane Maria and that U.S. taxpayer money is spent wisely. I was proud to work with Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón to secure disaster relief funding for Puerto Rico, and I’m proud to work with her and the administration to make sure that funding gets to those who need it.”
The letter is below:
We are concerned that in light of recent events in Puerto Rico, the families of the Island will not receive the support they need in a timely manner. It is evident that there is an urgent need to ensure coordination of critical decision making and guarantee proper use of disaster funding for the Island’s families. Greater efficiency and transparency in disbursement of funds is needed so that the people of Puerto Rico, U.S. taxpayers, and the federal government can be confident in the results.
Ensuring sound management and accountability is important to this process. The people of Puerto Rico should not be the ones who suffer for the local administration’s improper actions.
Therefore, we consider it urgent that the implementation of critical recovery and review processes be supported by direct federal oversight, which can be achieved through action from your administration. We encourage you to establish a clearly defined federal coordinator for the reconstruction of Puerto Rico. This would be a valuable tool towards the goal of helping those families and communities in need.
A federal coordinator, under your administration, would have the mission to increase transparency and improve project execution standards on processes related to federal funding for the Island to recover. This coordinator would ensure funds are disbursed properly and promptly to meet the needs of the people of Puerto Rico.
The designation of a federal coordinator is consistent with precedents from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. The designation of a single federal coordinator for Puerto Rico creates a unique opportunity to execute your vision to rebuild America stronger than ever before, help those in need in Puerto Rico, and do so with proper oversight. We fought aggressively to ensure the recent recovery bill had significant support for the families of Puerto Rico, and we believe this level of accountability to the U.S. taxpayers is key while the money is distributed quickly to those in need.
We greatly value your time and consideration for these important matters.