WASHINGTON – One year after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement remembering the estimated 3,000 lives claimed by the storm, and calling on the federal government to do more to assist in the rebuilding of the island, on which roughly 75,000 homes were destroyed and over 300,000 homes were damaged.
“Today is a day to remember the thousands of lives lost from Hurricane Maria. Connecticut's close ties to Puerto Rico make the island's pain hit so close to home. We cannot forget the lives we lost, and we must rededicate ourselves to helping our fellow Americans rebuild,” said Murphy. “So far, there has been no accountability for the Administration's failure in planning, preparing and executing its response to this deadly storm. Finally, as a nation, we have yet to reckon with our country’s permanent second-class treatment of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people. It’s time for that long legacy of mistreatment to change.”
More than 275,000 people of Puerto Rican descent live in Connecticut, making up about 8 percent of the state’s population. Earlier this year, Murphy and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) traveled to Puerto Rico to see first-hand the devastation this storm caused to the island, and shortly after announced federal funding to help schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education – including those in Connecticut – to meet the educational needs of students who were displaced by the hurricane.
As a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Murphy called on the Congress to appropriate additional funding to help the island rebuild and recover from the $100 billion in damages caused by Hurricane Maria and to help communities, like those in Connecticut, that have taken in families who fled from the island. Murphy delivered a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate where he demanded Congress give Puerto Rico and its residents the equal political and economic status they deserve.