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.

Averting a government shutdown and Puerto Rico’s Medicaid cliff

Last night the House unveiled a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government through December 20. What does this mean for Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico and the EITC

Upward mobility has always been a cornerstone of the “American dream”; the opportunities are boundless as long as you put in the work. Ringing true to that promise, the federal government created the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in 1975 to reduce the tax burden for low- and moderate-income working families.

Addressing Puerto Rico’s Medicaid Cliff

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to markup 26 bills tomorrow at 9:30AM, including H.R. 2328, the "Reauthorizing and Extending America's Community Health Act".  An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (ANS) – essentially a full replacement of bill text – will be offered to incorporate language of H.R. 3631, the "Territories Health Care Improvement Act" which includes a temporary fix to Puerto Rico’s Medicaid cliff. 

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. 

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.

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.

Additional Content from the D.C. Team

PROMESA: A Failed Colonial Experiment?

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Puerto Rico Oversight and Management Economic Stability Act. As we look back and take stock of the events that have taken place since 2016, the unavoidable conclusion is that the territorial bankruptcy regime set up by that law has failed to achieve most of the goals set forth by its authors.

Oversight or Punishment?

Last week, the Office of the Inspector General of the HUD released a 45-page report which detailed the multiple instances when the political leadership in OMB, a critical control center within the Executive Office of the President, purposefully delayed processes to release disaster aid.

Federal Funds Anchor New Fiscal Plan

The FOMB for Puerto Rico certified a new fiscal plan for the central government on Friday, April 23. The new Fiscal Plan, just like the others, is based on four core elements: (1) budget consolidation (spending cuts and revenue increases); (2) structural reforms; (3) debt relief; and (4) federal funding for disaster relief and COVID-19 assistance.

First Impressions Matter

In Washington D.C., the symbolic deadline for a new President to make a lasting imprint on the nation is exactly 100 days. After all, first impressions matter. As the Administration and the new Congress near their 100-day mark respectively Puerto Rico has, for better or worse, not been lost in the mix of national priorities.

Pandemic Exposes Fragility of Puerto Rico’s Health Care System

In seven months, Puerto Rico faces an imminent threat to its healthcare system: lack of sufficient funds to operate. This is not unusual for Puerto Rico nor any of the other U.S. territories.

EITC Questions & Answers

What exactly is the EITC? How does it help families in overcoming poverty and how does it promote labor force participation? Keep reading to find out.
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