Washington, D.C. Office

Washington, D.C. Office

We cannot neglect the role Washington D.C. plays in Puerto Rico’s affairs.

In 2016 all three branches of the federal government took action related to Puerto Rico.  The judicial branch, through two separate rulings issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, opined that Puerto Rico is not a sovereign territory and ultimately responds to the plenary powers of the U.S. Congress.  The legislative branch authored and voted for the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) allowing the island to access a comprehensive restructuring process, under the purview of a seven-member oversight board.  Finally, the executive branch signed the law and subsequently appointed members to the oversight board.

It was evident this turning point underscored the need for a think tank dedicated to the island’s issues to be present in Washington D.C. and lend its voice to federal policymakers. CNE is doing just that, becoming the principal non-political voice from Puerto Rico and a resource for knowledge and information. It channels its expertise through distinguished analysis and fact-based advocacy. With its office in D.C., we expect to get the U.S. Congress, the executive branch and federal agencies to focus on the right issues and make progress for CNE’s only client: Puerto Rico.

The CNE D.C. Team

Rosanna Torres

Director, Washington D.C. Office

Rosanna Torres joined CNE after ten years of public service in several roles within the federal government. Prior to this role, she served as Legislative Director for a senior member of Congress, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, a role she assumed after having worked as a professional staff member in the House Small Business Committee. Rosanna also served as a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she worked closely on the federal government’s response to Puerto Rico’s fiscal and economic crisis. She has experience at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget where she gained insight into the budget and appropriation process for multiple federal government agencies. Her first role in government was with the U.S. Census Bureau, where she also participated in detail programs with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Performance Improvement Council.

Rosanna holds a master’s degree in International Commerce and Public Policy from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Statistics from the University of Puerto Rico.

PROMESA’s New Board

During the past couple of weeks, plenty has been inferred over the future composition of Puerto Rico’s new Financial Management and Oversight Board. In this post we shed some color on the appointments process and what is before the U.S. government at this time. 
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Correcting Historically Discriminatory Policies Against Residents of U.S. Territories

For decades, Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories have been deprived of access to federal programs specifically designed to provide a safety net, break persistent poverty cycles and jumpstart the economy. These limitations unfairly discriminate against the residents of U.S. territories and perpetuate long-standing inequities. Three recent court decisions suggest discriminatory policies against the residents of U.S. territories will no longer stand.
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Impact of the SSI in Puerto Rico

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is not available to residents of Puerto Rico, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Two recent court rulings have found this categorical exclusion of the residents of Puerto Rico and Guam to be unconstitutional. We take a closer look at the impact the SSI program could have for Puerto Rico’s residents and the potential economic benefits associated with it.
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Timely Ruling on the Supplemental Security Income for Puerto Rico

In a world where it seems there is only bad news, I’d like to share some good news that recently came out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit regarding the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and its extension to the residents of Puerto Rico.
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Replenishing Aid for Small Businesses and Organizations

As soon as the third federal coronavirus response package was signed into law, the clock started ticking for small businesses already overwhelmed by business-altering decisions. Business owners, sole proprietors and leaders of nonprofit organizations rushed to ensure their organizations would not be left out of any available help.  But, as it turns out now, the scale tipped towards those with most leverage and influence on the Hill.
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Notes on Social Distancing, Defense Production, and COVID-19 Relief Legislation

In the past couple of days,  the federal government has taken several steps to respond to the worsening COVID-19 crisis. Among the most notable are: 1) extending social distancing guidelines through the end of April, 2) conferring the power of the Defense Production Act to increase the supply of health supplies, and 3) passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.  Read on for relevant notes of each.
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Additional Content from the D.C. Team

Electronic Export Information

A little over a month ago the U.S. Census Bureau published a notice of proposed rulemaking for the elimination of the Electronic Export Information filing requirement for shipments between the United States and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. While for the most part this notice has flown under the radar, the negative implications it poses over Puerto Rico’s economic data merits our attention.
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The intricacies of the election process in the U.S.

This year things are complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a record number of voters who have already cast their ballots to avoid the crowd on Election Day. This combination could result in a strange election night.
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El que mucho promete, mucho olvida

En un momento tan doloroso como este, en el que el mundo experimenta semejante pandemia, vale recordar que Puerto Rico atraviesa una situación aún más delicada. Hay toda una generación en la isla que solo conoce la palabra “crisis”.
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US Elections Analysis: When does the election end?

With less than five weeks to the general election in the United States, the partisan temperature is rising as politicians and their lawyers plot their electoral strategies.
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PROMESA, Four Years Later

Four years since the enactment of PROMESA, the island of Puerto Rico is still grappling with nearly 15 years of economic contraction and a bankruptcy process that appears to have no end in sight. Making matters worse, just a year after PROMESA was signed into law, Puerto Rico was struck by not one but two devastating hurricanes in a span of 14 days.
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Summary of Peña Martinez v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

In Peña Martinez v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nine plaintiffs, all residents of Puerto Rico, challenged on constitutional grounds their exclusion from the Supplemental Security Income program (“SSI”); the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”); and the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy program (“LIS”).
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