Officials: Federal funds being withheld from Puerto Rico

Posted: Updated:

Officials say money that is owed to Puerto Rico from hurricanes Irma and Maria are being withheld during a new time of need.

A devastating earthquake and its aftershocks have left thousands on the island without power. It has also left many with failing infrastructure. A total of $18.3 billion in federal funding was set to go to Puerto Rico, more than two years ago.

That money was part of hurricane relief, but Democratic lawmakers say the island hasn't seen any of that funding. Democrats, including Rep. Nydia Velazquez of New York, are pushing back on the Trump administration for what they say is an illegal withholding of necessary funds.

The magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit the island on Tuesday destroyed homes.

The Daily News reports that the Trump administration has been citing concerns about "corruption" and "financial mismanagement" as for why they haven't released all the funds.

Rep. Velazquez, who was born in Puerto Rico, along with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

The letter demanded that the outstanding billions of dollars be sent to the island.

Velazquez says that as of Friday, Secretary Carson has not responded to their letter.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."