David Richardson

Puerto Rico

In Congressional District 27 alone, there are over 25,000 Puerto Ricans with countless ties back to the island. More than ever before, we are responsible for calling out the Trump Administration’s mistreatment of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and in relation to the island's larger financial crisis.

South Florida has always had a special connection to Puerto Rico. In Congressional District 27 alone, there are over 25,000 Puerto Ricans with countless ties back to the island. More than ever before, we are responsible for calling out the Trump Administration’s mistreatment of Puerto Rico. Not only has it failed in its duty to provide disaster relief after Hurricane Maria, but it has also allowed the island to continue sinking deeper into financial crisis. 

Any representative in the Florida State Legislature should go the extra mile to connect with constituents, and I went the extra 1,000 miles on a listening tour of Puerto Rico in May. There, I met with mayors, community leaders, and progressive activists to hear local solutions that I can connect with national support while in Congress. We have a duty to support our fellow American citizens on the island of Puerto Rico.

Policy Priorities:

  1. Close the gap in hurricane relief funding. The Trump Administration has only pledged $18 billion in federal funding to rebuild after Hurricane Maria, yet it is estimated the Puerto Rico needs between $100 billion and $150 billion to stop such destruction from happening again. I will urge Congress to allocate more funds to protect the Puerto Rican people.
  2. Overturn the PROMESA Bill, which creates a social gap that impoverishes the Puerto Rican working class and enriches the wealthy. It plainly plays favorites with bond holders, not the residents of Puerto Rico. 
  3. Audit Puerto Rico’s debt to investigate whether it was incurred legally. As a former forensic auditor, I will ensure that if debt was issued to creditors in violation of Puerto Rico’s Constitution, it must be immediately set aside.
  4. Support a jobs program to make Puerto Rican businesses competitive in the global economy. This plan would help rebuild Puerto Rico’s crumbling roads and bridges, improve its ports, upgrade its drinking water and wastewater plants, and modernize Puerto Rico’s aging and damaged electric grid. 
  5. Support a U.S. congressionally-sanctioned and binding referendum where the Puerto Rican people would be able to decide on whether to become a state, an independent country, or to reform the current Commonwealth agreement. This is an issue that should be decided by the Puerto Rican people without Congressional obstruction.

Amend the tax reform legislation by expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to all eligible families in Puerto Rico. Congress should exempt Puerto Rico from harmful new taxes on US companies abroad, such as the 12% tax on intangible assets, and provide new incentives for American companies to invest and create jobs in the Island.

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