Sara Lonardo,, 202/730-7332

Issued October 12, 2017

SEIU’s Henry, Figueroa: DHS nominee should commit to keeping relief effort in Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and 32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa issued the following statement on the deteriorating situation in Puerto Rico and the House-passed disaster relief bill:

“While Congress was taking its first steps to relieve the suffering in Puerto Rico, President Trump was making the situation worse with yet another early morning tweetstorm. Threatening to pull out crucial first responders while the death toll keeps increasing is unconscionable and an affront to the oath he swore on January 20. His new nominee for Department of Homeland Security Secretary, who will be in charge of the response, should immediately and publicly commit to not scale back relief efforts or otherwise worsen the situation.

“Unfortunately the bill passed by the House of Representatives today is the very least they could do to address the calamitous natural disasters battering our nation. This is a barebones down payment on what will ultimately be needed and SEIU members from New York to California are going to make their voices heard to ensure this down payment is fully realized. The rising death toll is a direct result of the poor response effort. SEIU members are on the ground doing everything they can to help the sick. We demand the same from our elected leaders.”