Home > newsroom > Page
Financial Controls Over Federal Assistance Dominates Hearing on Hurricane Recovery in U.S. Territories

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2017 -

Today, the Full Committee held an oversight hearing on “The Need for Transparent Financial Accountability in Territories' Disaster Recovery Efforts." The panel reviewed the financial needs of both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the need and form of appropriate Federal oversight.

“Improved coordination and the need for transparent and accountable expenditures of taxpayer dollars are goals all parties working in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands can aspire to achieve,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) stated.

The help Puerto Rico has received from Congress and the Administration has made a huge difference… but there is much more left to do in both the short and long term. It’s fair that taxpayers will want to know that process is being managed transparently and responsibly with the primary vision of helping Americans that live both in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help them rebuild,” Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González (R-PR) stated.

On Puerto Rico, Bishop said the Island's government faces a “credibility gap," that must be rectified to ensure future support in Congress for adequate emergency funding.

The lack of institutional controls…raises grave concerns about the government of Puerto Rico’s ability to competently negotiate, manage and implement infrastructure projects without significant independent oversight,” Bishop said.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló asserted the need for transparency in the use of federal recovery dollars, acknowledging fiscal mismanagement at the local level prior to and following the hurricanes’ devastation. His administration is requesting close to $100 billion in federal funding to support recovery and rebuilding.    

When I took office, it was clear that I believe that effective and transparent government was critical to economic progress and to the future of Puerto Rico,” Rosselló stated.

USVI’s Governor, Kenneth Mapp, estimates damages related to both Hurricane Irma and Maria exceed $7.5 billion. Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI) emphasized Congress’s obligation to support and sufficiently fund recovery efforts given their Constitutional responsibility to the territories.

[W]e must build it back stronger and more sustainable than before,” Mapp said.Our recovery will be long and difficult… but we cannot do it alone.

Click here to view full witness testimony. 

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

Latest News

Committee Passes Bill to Improve Regulatory Efficiency, Environmental Progress

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3133, the “Streamlining Environmental Approvals (SEA) Act of 2017.” Introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), the bill amends the Marine Mamma...... Read more

Minority Leadership Flip Flops on Support for Tribal Rights in House Vote

Today, 158 House Democrats voted against S. 140 (Sen. Jeff Flake, R-AZ), a bill that promotes tribal self-governance over tribal resources, lands and business regulation. Despite claims to overwhelmin...... Read more

Curtis Bill Enhances Antiquities Protections, Creates First Ever Tribally-Managed National Monument

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on H.R. 4532, the “Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act.” Introduced by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), and c...... Read more

View All News


Full Committee Markup
FC Markup | 1324 Longworth House Office Building
Legislative Hearing on Tribal Jobs Bill
Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
Oversight Hearing, “Examining the Department of the Interior’s Actions to Eliminate Onshore Energy Burdens.”
Energy and Mineral Resources | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
View All Events