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  • Senator Markey also cosponsored the U.S. Territorial Relief Act, introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, to provide an avenue to comprehensive debt relief for Puerto Rico and other disaster-ravaged U.S. territories so they can recover and rebuild with dignity. The U.S. Territorial Relief Act of 2018 gives territories the option to terminate their debt obligations if they meet certain stringent eligibility criteria.
  • In June 2018, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey met with Puerto Rican families from Western Massachusetts and pledged to continue fighting for long-term housing solutions. Senator Markey also released a statement criticizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Senate Republicans for blocking the establishment of permanent housing assistance for victims of Hurricane Maria as the deadline for temporary housing assistance approached.
  • In May 2018, Senator Markey and seven other senators announced the Housing Victims of Major Disasters Act of 2018, that would activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) to provide stable housing for survivors of major hurricanes. The senators introduced the legislation after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) refused to activate DHAP despite urgent need and requests from Members of Congress and from the Governor of Puerto Rico.
  • In May 2018, Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Representatives Bill Keating, and John Garamendi announced the introduction of the Enhancing the Strength and Capacity of America’s Primary Evacuation Routes (ESCAPE) Act, legislation that dedicates $1 billion of federal resources to expand the capacity and improve the resilience of the nation’s evacuation routes. The ESCAPE Act will provide targeted federal assistance to communities seeking to protect their citizens and fortify their critical mass evacuation routes from the adverse impacts of climate change.
  • In February 2018, Senator Markey and Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to Brock Long, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), requesting that FEMA allow Puerto Rico evacuees currently enrolled in the Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program to continue living in TSA shelters until March 20, 2018, regardless of whether FEMA determines that their homes in Puerto Rico are habitable.
  • In January 2018, Senator Markey joined members of the MA congressional delegation on a trip to Puerto Rico to conduct oversight of Hurricane Maria recovery efforts. The delegation will survey the damage from Hurricane Maria, assess the work and resources necessary to help the island fully recover, and speak personally with residents and government officials to discuss how best to support the people of Puerto Rico.
  • Senator Ed Markey also voted for a $36.5 billion funding package that included critical relief for Puerto Rico.
  • In October 2017, Senator Ed Markey joined Senator Elizabeth Warren in urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure the accuracy of the official fatality count in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

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