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

Puerto Rico in the 2019 Disaster Supplemental

After many deliberations between key negotiators, on Thursday, May 23, 2019,  and just hours before recessing for the Memorial Day holiday, the Senate passed a long-awaited $19.1 billion bipartisan disaster aid package. 
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A Look into Puerto Rico’s Disaster Numbers

In the aftermath of disasters, man–made or natural, the government plays a crucial role. It provides the necessary support, monetarily and otherwise, to help communities recover and get back on their feet. As these processes unfold, there is a tendency to highlight large dollar figures and give credit only to those who negotiated them. Yet that is not, nor should be, the primary lens through which we analyze a recovery process.
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Watt’s Up? Energy Debates in Puerto Rico

The discussion around energy in Puerto Rico is intensifying. On Thursday, March 21, CNE hosted “Black Start: The Future of Energy Summit.” Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colón hosted the 2019 American LNG Summit in San Juan with other government officials including Governor Rosselló and PREPA Executive Director José Ortiz.
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Addressing Puerto Rico in the 116th Congress

We are slightly over one month into the new year. Last week, President Trump gave his second State of the Union (SOTU) address, with little to no mention of Puerto Rico. Given all the public discourse on the recovery process and two recent court rulings with permeating long-term effects, this is an appropriate time to update you on Puerto Rico.
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New Year, Same Gridlock – Day 12 of the Shutdown

One day before the 116th Congress convenes for the first time, President Trump invited congressional leaders to the White House today at 3:00pm for a briefing on border security. This will be the first time they meet since the shutdown began (Dec. 22).
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The Lame Duck Congress

The 2018 midterm elections gave us another split Congress. Since then, it’s been a political fiasco.  Those running for leadership positions have been garnering support, and fighting off dissidents, ahead of caucus meetings to nominate candidates for the 116th Congress.  Final floor votes are expected for January 3, 2019.  Meanwhile, Congress is full steam ahead.  Here are a couple of things in the mix
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Additional Content from the D.C. Team

Sick and Abandoned

For decades, Puerto Rico has received limited funding to run a bare-bones Medicaid program that fails to provide adequate care for 1.5 million people who depend on the program. It is time for Congress to stop nickel-and-diming Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program, and enact a permanent, comprehensive fix.
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Puerto Rico’s Renewal

The summer of 2019 witnessed a masterful demonstration of civic engagement by the people of Puerto Rico. When accusations of corruption, misconduct, and deceit threatened to tarnish the island’s reputation, the people of Puerto Rico —both home and abroad— took to the streets peacefully to clean house and show the world that civility and honesty can prevail in the face of daunting political challenges.
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Federal Disaster Funding Update for Puerto Rico

Recently, there has been a heated debate about whether Puerto Rico has been treated fairly by the federal government in the allocation of funds for disaster assistance in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The answer to this question is complicated because it depends in large measure in understanding (1) how the federal appropriations process works and (2) how the different kinds of assistance programs function.
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Shortchanging the Territories in Medicaid Funding

An expansionist outlook of American leaders in the late 1800s led the United States to acquire possessions outside of the contiguous land that we still refer to as “the mainland.” However, other than designing military strategies that would provide the U.S. a geopolitical advantage, little thought was given to how these territories would be governed.
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La agenda para el nuevo Congreso

Guiar en Puerto Rico no es fácil.  Siempre existe el riesgo de perder una goma por los numerosos y profundos huecos en las carreteras.  A pesar que todos reconocen el problema, atender el asunto es complicado. 
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