Gutiérrez Calls for Investigation into $300M Contract Awarded to Construct Puerto Rico Electrical Grid
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) is calling for an investigation into the news that Whitefish Energy Holdings, a small Montana firm with ties to key Trump Administration officials, was awarded a $300 million contract to construct Puerto Rico’s power grid. As the Daily Beast reported, the company is headed by a major Trump contributor who has close ties to Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Montana Congressman.
“There is something very fishy about the Whitefish deal,” the Congressman said. “I have been here 25 years and this doesn’t pass the smell test. I am writing to the Justice Department and the FBI to ask them to investigate how this contract was awarded and why it went to this firm with no connection to Puerto Rico but plenty of connections to the Trump White House.”
Letter to Attorney General and FBI Director: 102417 Whitefish Letter Final.pdf
Rep. Gutierrez just returned from Puerto Rico where he observed horrible conditions and little if any evidence that FEMA or the Army Corps of Engineers is restoring power to hard hit island residents anytime soon. Earlier today, he gave a speech on the floor of the House using photos he took in Puerto Rico and a package of paper towels he brought to the House floor to illustrate the disconnect between what should be happening to help Puerto Ricans and what is actually happening, now almost five weeks after Hurricane Maria hit (Video: https://youtu.be/zOseckvOpf4).
“People are dying. Because walls and roofs are missing, people are living under tarps if they have them. People are forced to scrounge for food and water every day,” the Congressman said. “And now we hear that a company who has connections is getting $300 million to help? Wait a second, where is FEMA, where is the Corps of Engineers? And where is the accountability and oversight?”
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
# # #