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 Carson'Housing First' approach won't solve homelessness crisis Clarence Thomas blasts his Biden-led confirmation hearings: 'The idea was to get rid of me' Affordable housing crisis demands urgent, sustained action 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 LoweyCongress braces for chaotic December Adam Schiff's star rises with impeachment hearings Lawmakers bypass embattled Mulvaney in spending talks MORE (D-N.Y.) and Housing subcommittee chairman Rep. David PriceDavid Eugene PriceDemocrats likely to gain seats under new North Carolina maps North Carolina ruling could cost GOP House seats Trump officials say aid to Puerto Rico was knowingly stalled after Hurricane Maria 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.