This week, the White House announced that a team of experts from the Administration will begin partnering with Puerto Rico’s government officials to marshal existing federal resources and help Puerto Rico build its capacity for addressing economic issues.
The interagency team is part of the ongoing efforts of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico to strengthen Puerto Rico’s fiscal situation and economic outlook. Since 2009, the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico has consulted with the Island’s leadership on economic development, fiscal management, and federal funds management. The Task Force has supported efforts to lift Puerto Rico's economic growth trajectory under its mandate to identify and promote existing Federal initiatives that might benefit the Island. Moreover, the Task Force provides advice and recommendations to the President and Congress on policies and initiatives that would promote job creation, education, health care, clean energy, and economic development in Puerto Rico.
As part of this work, the interagency team will offer strategic advice to assist Puerto Rico in promoting its economic development and maximizing the impact of existing federal funds flowing to the Island. These efforts are not a federal intervention. Rather, these policy experts will share their expertise with the Puerto Rican officials leading the Commonwealth’s economic efforts.
The combined team will consist of members of Governor Garcia Padilla’s Administration and federal experts from the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, and will be supported by experts at the Office of Management and Budget, the National Economic Council, the Council of Economic Advisors and the Department of the Treasury. The officials will work in their separate federal offices in Puerto Rico.
The Task Force, which will hold its regularly scheduled meeting this week, will continue the President’s mandate to support Puerto Rico’s economic development, education, health care, energy, and security.
Puerto Rico’s challenges didn’t develop overnight, and they will not be solved overnight. There is more work to be done. Through the work of the President's Task Force and this interagency team, we look forward to supporting the Puerto Rico government’s effort to strengthen and grow their economy.
David Agnew is Co-Chair of the President’s Puerto Rico Task Force