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.

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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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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Additional Content from the D.C. Team

Third Economic Stimulus Package in Response to COVID-19 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

What provisions will impact Puerto Rico? What's missing? CNE's DC Office Director Rosanna Torres breaks it down.
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No todo lo que es oro, brilla

Rosanna Torres, directora de la oficina de CNE en Washington, explica las restricciones punitivas incluidas en el nuevo acuerdo de fondos federales para la reconstrucción.
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Why the Federal Government Should Support Puerto Rico’s New EITC

Puerto Rico faces a host of daunting challenges, including chronically high poverty (especially among children), low labor force participation, over a decade of economic decline, an unsustainably high debt burden, and the lingering effects of the devastating hurricanes of 2017 that make its long-term prosperity harder to attain. To address these challenges, the Commonwealth needs a comprehensive economic package that centers around powerful tools such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
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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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