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Rubio Requests Information from Puerto Rico Governor on Island’s Cash Balances

Jan 23, 2018 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today requested Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló provide additional information regarding the island’s current cash balances. According to Rubio, “this critical information will aid [his] efforts already underway to secure additional relief for Puerto Rico in the upcoming disaster supplemental appropriations bill.”
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Governor Rosselló:
As the Senate continues to work towards a disaster supplemental that seeks to address the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria, I write to respectfully request additional information regarding the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s current cash balances. This is needed in light of recent correspondence from federal agencies regarding access to the Community Disaster Loan (CDL) program, which the Congress appropriated nearly $5 million this past October.
On January 9, 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Treasury sent your administration a letter stating that the federal government would not be disbursing any CDL program funding to the Commonwealth until a “Cash Balance Policy level is reached.” The impetus of this decision appears to be based on the agencies’ conclusion that Puerto Rico’s central cash balance is sufficient to sustain the Commonwealth’s operating expenses. According to the letter, Puerto Rico’s central cash balance has “consistently exceeded $1.5 billion in the months following the hurricanes.” In addition, the agencies specifically note $6.875 billion in unrestricted and restricted cash on deposit in more than 800 Puerto Rico government owned accounts.
It has come to my attention that your administration disputes these determinations, and is urging the federal government to finalize an agreement to provide the Puerto Rico central government with CDL program funding. You and I have discussed Puerto Rico’s liquidity crisis, among other needs, on multiple occasions following Hurricane Maria, and I remain concerned with the implications of the central government not having access to these CDL loans. For this reason, I respectfully request you provide my office with additional information that would be helpful in addressing concerns from my colleagues in the Congress. This critical information will aid my efforts already underway to secure additional relief for Puerto Rico in the upcoming disaster supplemental appropriations bill.