Puerto Rico officially backs supplemental security income for Guam

Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

Guam – The Government of Puerto Rico has just officially endorsed H.R. 208, which seeks to bring Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, to Guam.

In a letter to Congressman Michael San Nicolas, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló expressed full support for the measure.

Along with the co-sponsorship of H.R. 208 by Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jennifer Gonzales-Colón, the co-sponsorship and Rosselló letter represents full endorsement by Puerto Rico of H.R. 208 at both the federal and local level.

SSI has been a challenge to obtain for all U.S. Territories because of its cost. While Guam has a population of just over 160,000 people, Puerto Rico has a population of over 3 million, potentially ballooning SSI cost to twenty times greater than Guam.

H.R. 208 seeks SSI only for Guam, keeping costs contained but requiring political support particularly from Puerto Rico in order to move forward. Guam now has this support and a key ally to move H.R. 208 forward.

In a news release, San Nicolas said: “The co-sponsorship of H.R. 208 by my dear colleague Congresswoman Gonzales-Colón, and the endorsement of H.R. 208 by my dear friend Governor Roselló, represent huge milestones on the path to getting SSI for Guam.”

San Nicolas added: “As the largest Territory with many ethnic constituents in various Congressional Districts, Puerto Rico’s endorsement of SSI for Guam is a tremendous boost, as they are effectively allowing us to move forward rather than holding us back.”

Earlier, there was some criticism about a trip San Nicolas took to Puerto Rico to assist the Hispanic Congressional Caucus in assessing the many challenges they were facing.

San Nicolas said the Hispanic Caucus is now returning the favor, sending a strong message on behalf of Guam, and supporting the work to bring SSI to Guam.

San Nicolas added that he will continue to support Puerto Rico and he is grateful for Puerto Rico’s support of Guam’s quest for SSI inclusion.