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 close-up

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.

View from the Hill

A specialized high-level outlook on federal policy issues that affect Puerto Rico

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

Congressional Response to Puerto Rico’s COVID-19 Outbreak

Puerto Rico, which has seen its share of significant back-to-back crises, is once again caught unprepared to tackle the economic costs and public health challenges that will arise from this epidemiological shock. It is just not equipped to face a large-scale health care crisis. That is unless we can secure federal support and empower local institutions.
Read More
Loading...

Additional Content from the D.C. Team

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”).
Read More

El Censo 2020: la importancia de hacernos contar

A estas alturas del juego, no nos debe sorprender la enorme desconfianza que tenemos los puertorriqueños con el gobierno estatal y federal. Ambos nos han fallado en grande, y mucho de eso se manifiesta en nuestra bajísima tasa de participación en el Censo Decenal – un cuestionario del censo que, desde el 1910, realiza el gobierno federal en Puerto Rico cada diez años para medir nuestra población y otros importantes aspectos demográficos.
Read More

Unemployment Compensation

Great uncertainty lies ahead for the 50 million Americans that have relied on emergency unemployment compensation to meet basic needs after unexpectedly losing their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the extra unemployment assistance is scheduled to end by July 31.
Read More

PROMESA, 4 years later

Four years after the enactment of PROMESA, Puerto Rico still faces massive debt and economic challenges - now, further exacerbated by the 2017 hurricanes, the series of earthquakes that have rattled the island since December 2019, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on, the Center for a New Economy (CNE) warned the measures being considered by Congress would not address the underlying issues affecting the island.
Read More

El lavado de manos del Congreso

Rosanna Torres explica las medidas que el Congreso de EE. UU. debe tomar para apoyar a Puerto Rico durante la pandemia del COVID-19.
Read More

Letter to Congressional Leadership Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic in Puerto Rico

Letter to Congressional Leadership Regarding COVID-19 in Puerto Rico
Read More
Loading...
Sign up to our mailing list for updates on CNE’s Washington D.C. Office events and publications.
Are you interested in getting in touch with the D.C. team? Send us an email.
We are interested in hearing from you.