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 CarsonTrump administration ends Obama fair housing rule Castro urges Dems to seize moment on social reform Overnight Health Care: Fauci says 'bizarre' efforts to discredit him only hurt the White House | Alabama to require face masks | House panel probes 'problematic' government contracts 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 LoweyIt's past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms Helping our seniors before it's too late House approves .3 trillion spending package for 2021 MORE (D-N.Y.) and Housing subcommittee chairman Rep. David PriceDavid Eugene PriceHouse panel approves measure requiring masks on public transport Overnight Energy: 350 facilities skip reporting water pollution | Panel votes to block Trump's 'secret science' rule | Court upholds regulation boosting electric grid storage Committee votes to block Trump's 'secret science' EPA rule 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.