House

Ryan leading bipartisan delegation to Puerto Rico

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will lead a bipartisan delegation to Puerto Rico on Friday to view the damage from Hurricane Maria, his office said.

Ryan's visit is expected to follow a vote in the House this week to approve at least $29 billion in aid for communities affected by recent hurricanes and wildfires.

Puerto Rico had been hit by Hurricane Irma last month before Hurricane Maria subsequently ravaged the U.S. territory. Most of the island remains without power, and many residents lack adequate food or water supplies.

Ryan will travel to Puerto Rico with House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) and the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.). Puerto Rico's nonvoting representative in Congress, Jenniffer González-Colón (R), and House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) are also expected to attend.

Ryan is expected to hold a news conference while in Puerto Rico and meet with local officials and emergency personnel.

The Trump administration requested $29 billion for disaster relief last week, which includes $12.8 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief fund, $16 billion for debt relief for the federal flood insurance program and $576.5 for wildfire recovery.

The House is expected to vote on legislation this week that meets that request.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is also asking Congress for an additional $4.6 billion in federal grant and loan programs.

Other members of Congress have already traveled to Puerto Rico to survey the hurricane damage. Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), as well as Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), were among the first to travel to the island.

Another bipartisan congressional delegation viewed the recovery efforts over the weekend, including Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), as well as Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

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