U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, whose district oversees one of the largest and fastest growing Puerto Rican diasporas in the states, has been appointed a seat on a Congressional subcommittee that oversees Puerto Rican affairs.
Soto, an Orlando Democrat who is of Puerto Rican descent himself – a first for Florida’s congressional representatives – announced Tuesday he’s been granted a seat on the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs
That subcommittee keeps tabs on the federal territories, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It also is the launching point for congressional actions regarding the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act. PROMESA was adopted last year in an effort to resolve the most pressing of challenges in the current economic meltdown in Puerto Rico.
Soto’s Florida’s 9th Congressional District, covering southern Orange County, Osceola County and eastern Polk County, includes the heart of the Puerto Rican population in Central Florida, which numbers in the hundreds of thousands. That community has been growing rapidly in the past two or three years as thousands of islanders flee Puerto Rico every month. Soto campaigned with Puerto Rico as a big part of his platform.
He also was assigned to the Energy & Mineral Resources, and Oversight & Investigations subcommittees on the Natural Resources Committee.