Democrats hit HUD for missing Puerto Rico disaster relief deadline

Democrats hit HUD for missing Puerto Rico disaster relief deadline
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House Democrats say they plan to hold a hearing on why the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) missed a crucial deadline for allocating the most recent batch of disaster relief funds to Puerto Rico.

HUD Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonBen Carson's remarks during San Francisco visit spark backlash Democrats blast HUD for removing LGBT language from grant competition Senior HUD official reprimanded for making political statements on the job MORE last week missed a deadline for allocating $8.9 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds from June's supplemental disaster relief bill, Democrats wrote in a letter Thursday that was made public on Monday.

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"Despite supplemental appropriations approved by Congress and enacted into law to help states and territories recover, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has yet to make this funding available for necessary recovery and mitigation efforts," House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyHouse votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November The Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution Two years after Maria, Puerto Rico awaits disaster funds MORE (D-N.Y.) and Housing subcommittee chairman Rep. David PriceDavid Eugene PriceTwo years after Maria, Puerto Rico awaits disaster funds Democrats hit HUD for missing Puerto Rico disaster relief deadline House Democrats blur lines on support for impeachment MORE (D-N.C.) wrote in a joint letter.

The subcommittee, it added, "will be holding a hearing on this matter in the coming weeks."

The lawmakers said Carson had published allocations for other states and territories that needed the funds, such as California, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, and at the last minute, the U.S. Virgin Islands as well.

"Puerto Rico was not included in either notice," they said.

HUD did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Democrats have sparred with the Trump administration over its handling of Puerto Rico's recovery efforts following hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Those criticisms have become a major sticking point in recent negotiations over disaster relief and appropriations bills.