Puerto Rico Could Lose More Than a Billion Dollars in Federal Funding Under the GOP Debt Ceiling Plan

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By Mivette Vega

May 17, 2023

The plan would revert to the 2022 spending level, amid high inflation, and only increase the discretionary spending budget by 1% annually.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling bill could have a harmful impact on Puerto Rico’s budget.

The Center on Budget and Public Policy Priorities (CBPP) warned that raising the debt ceiling could reduce federal funding for the island by $1.5 billion, in fiscal year 2024. 

CBPP says the Republican’s agenda would narrow opportunity, deepen inequality, and increase hardship, because it will cut a broad swath of public services, including schools, child care, and public health to environmental protection and college aid. It will also make it harder for people to afford basic needs while allowing for more tax fraud and tax breaks for the wealthy.

The legislation would cut spending by $1.3 trillion over 10 years. The Republican plan would revert to the 2022 spending level,  amid high inflation, and only increase the discretionary spending budget by 1% annually.

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The discretionary programs, also known as annually appropriated programs, including defense, veterans’ health care, child care, preschool, medical research, public health, food, drug safety inspectors, Pell Grants, college work-study, K-12 education, environmental protection, housing, and some transportation programs. 

“State and local governments would be forced to slash funding for programs that people and communities rely upon every day. The harms done would include more crowded classrooms, even fewer families able to afford child care, new parents lacking the help they need to feed their babies properly, malfunctioning water facilities, and less funding for homelessness services and substance use treatment,” explained Whitney Tucker, CBPP director of State Fiscal Policy Research. 



  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.



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