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.

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.
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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. 
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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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Additional Content from the D.C. Team

Puerto Rico’s Unmet Needs

It has been three years and 145 days since Hurricane Maria struck the island. In other words, Puerto Rico has entered its fourth year of reconstruction. The amount of time that has gone by could suggest that recovery is fully underway. The reality on the ground, however, is very different.
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Recomendaciones al Gobernador de Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico atraviesa por la situación más difícil que ha enfrentado en medio siglo y la complejidad de la coyuntura actual requiere que se establezcan prioridades claras de trabajo. En este memorando al gobernador identificamos cuáles deben ser las prioridades de trabajo para la nueva administración y ofrecemos recomendaciones sobre cómo atenderlas.
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President Biden’s First 100 Days

The Biden administration has hit the ground running in a way not seen in Washington in decades. The president has signed dozens of executive orders and signaled he will be sending major legislation to Congress soon.
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Biden’s Rescue Plan

President Joe Biden unveiled last week a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package to help stabilize the faltering U.S. economy.
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Memo to the Federal Government: Priorities for Puerto Rico

In general, the new Administration should focus its energy on providing the residents of Puerto Rico equal access to federal programs and funding so it can avoid poverty traps and spur economic growth.
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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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