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Republicans Reject Democrats’ Attempt to Politicize Puerto Rico’s Recovery Amid Pandemic
“Mr. Chairman, You Are Better Than That”- Republican Leader Bishop

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2020 -

Yesterday afternoon, during a hearing before the House Committee on Natural Resources, Republicans pushed backed against Democrats’ attempts to undermine and politicize Puerto Rico’s economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Republican Members further excoriated Democrats for sidelining elected voices of the minority and favoring political messaging pursuits over the needs of the American people.  Committee Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Insular Affairs Republican Leader Jennifer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico), Puerto Rico's sole Representative to the U.S. Congress, released the following statements: 

“I recognize, perhaps more than any Member in Congress, that oversight over PROMESA is a legitimate issue within our Committee’s jurisdiction.  That is why it is so disappointing that yesterday we decided to carry out this important work remotely, and not in Washington, D.C. as our constituents elected us to do. I will not be phased by partisan cheap shots hurled at me by the Democrat Chairman of this Committee, during my allotted time unyielded I might add. Nevertheless, I will continue to fight for my constituents, millions of voices on the island that continue to go unheard in these now empty halls of Congress.  And I will do so in a bipartisan manner, as I have always done over the past three years.  If the Majority of this Committee were truly interested in conducting bipartisan work towards improving PROMESA, then they would seriously consider re-opening the Committee here in Washington D.C. and rise above the shameful rhetoric they engaged in yesterday.” – Rep. Jennifer González-Colón

Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) drafted controversial legislation concerning the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) without input from Rep. González-Colón.  During the hearing Members and witnesses, which included the Chief Financial Officer of the Government of Puerto Rico, outlined harmful impacts of the proposed bill to the island’s recovery. 

After Republicans offered a motion to adjourn the Democrats’ virtual hearing and bring Members back to work in Washington, Chair Grijalva, visibly frustrated, questioned Rep. González-Colón’s vote and then began lodging political attacks at her.

During the hearing, in reaction to Chair Grijalva’s unprecedented attack, Republican Leader Bishop stated: “Mr. Chairman, you are better than that. You are a better person than that.”

“It is deeply troubling to me to hear that the Chairman of this Committee would blatantly engage in partisan attacks on the Resident Commissioner during a virtual fiasco dubbed an official oversight hearing,” Bishop added. “No one benefits when Democrat Members of the House choose to lob cheap political shots and use the minority’s own time to question the intentions of a duly elected representative of 3.2 million American citizens, the ONLY elected representative of the island of Puerto Rico in Congress. What a mockery this has been and I hope the Committee will proceed immediately to regular order so we can finally get back to the work of the people of this country.” 

Click HERE and HERE to watch Rep. Jennifer González-Colón address Chair Grijalva’s political attacks and the need for Democrats to return the Committee to work in Washington, DC.  

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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