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Senate Finance Committee Proposes SSI Benefits for Puerto Rico

Residents of Puerto Rico have been excluded from receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, but that may soon change. The Senate Finance Committee has release a bill that extends SSI benefits to Puerto Rico. Separately, the Medicaid program may receive a boost with a proposed measure to increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to 76 percent.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released updated text of the Finance Committee’s title of the Build Back Better Act. The updated text includes both technical and policy changes, as well as modifications to ensure compliance with Senate budget rules. 

“The Finance Committee has made targeted improvements to the Build Back Better Act, and is ready to move forward in this process,” said Wyden. “Our package is historic. It would create good-paying jobs, lower the cost of raising a family, combat the climate crisis and reduce energy bills, build more affordable housing, and cut health care costs for families and seniors. The package is fully paid for by ensuring profitable mega-corporations and wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. While conversations are continuing, the committee is prepared for bipartisan meetings with the Senate parliamentarian next week.”

Earlier in 2021, President Biden expressed support for this measure, and called on Congress to extend SSI benefits to Puerto Rico.

"I believe that Puerto Rico residents should be able to receive SSI benefits," said Biden, "just like their fellow Americans in all 50 states and Washington D.C. I call on Congress to amend the Social Security Act to extend these benefits to residents of Puerto Rico. And as I reiterated in my first budget request, I also support eliminating Medicaid funding caps for Puerto Rico and moving toward parity for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to align with States."