The Puerto Rico Oversight Board withdrew a demand for employee furloughs and began lobbying for federal aid to Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria's toll on the island.

The board announced on Saturday that it was withdrawing its lawsuit against the Puerto Rico government of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló that sought to force it to institute government furloughs effective Sept. 1. It said it was “postponing any discussion of furloughs until next fiscal year.”

Puerto Rico Oversight Board President José Carrión III and board member Ana Matasantos.
Puerto Rico Oversight Board Chairman José Carríon III, left, with board member Ana Matosantos, said the island's road to recovery will be long and hard.

This past week, members of the Oversight Board and its staff were in Washington, D.C. lobbying “key members” of Congress and Trump Administration officials.

“The board urged the Trump administration and Congress to expedite responses to all requests for assistance from the government of Puerto Rico, increase financial assistance, lift the caps on individual programs of financial aid available to the island, and waive the local government cost-sharing requirements across available programs, including permanent recovery work,” the board said.

The board is also calling for federal agency employees to be assigned to the board for the next several months.

“Puerto Rico has been devastated by Hurricane Maria,” said board Chairman José Carríon III. “The road to recovery is going to be long and hard. But Puerto Rico will come back better and stronger. That is our spirit and our fight. The board is committed to doing everything it can to make that happen.”

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