By NAN Contributor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. July 30, 2018: Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives since 2011, on Saturday joined several other Democratic congressional lawmakers for a visit to the Caribbean.
Pelosi along with 14 other Democratic lawmakers were in the U.S. Virgin Islands almost a year after hurricanes devastated portions of the islands. Pelosi, according to a statement from the island’s governor, said the purpose of the trip was to listen, learn and shine a light on the ongoing crisis in the U.S.V.I. post hurricanes Irma and Maria.
She said the delegation wanted to visit with families, local officials, as well as faith and community groups to discuss the steps remaining to put their fellow Americans firmly back on the road to recovery.
“We are committed to ensuring that every community devastated by the hurricanes receives the assistance they need, particularly as we face fresh threats from this year’s hurricane season,” Pelosi was quoted as saying.
The Congressional delegation arrived at the Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas.
On St. Thomas they made a brief stop at the Schneider Regional Medical Center where they received a tour of the hospital and the Charlotte Kimmelman Cancer Institute to learn more about the extent of damages the facilities received and the necessary plans and funding for repair. The delegation also visited Tutu High Rise, Bovoni, the Estate Donoe Solar Field and WAPA’s Harley Power Plant.
They were transported to St. John via helicopter where they toured the damaged Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center, the Caneel Bay property and later completed a walking tour of Coral Bay to view the debris sites, the Fire Station and Guy Benjamin Community Center
Pelosi said the visit was very enlightening and helped the delegation have a greater understanding of how to best assist the Virgin Islands to move forward.
“Now we must make sure the Administration spends the money in a much more accelerated way,” Pelosi said. “There were many challenges before the hurricanes, but it took the hurricanes to put the spotlight on what some of those challenges were. The suffering endured by our fellow Americans on the islands in the months following the hurricanes has been a challenge to the conscience of our nation. We must do better to prevent the loss of life, expedite the recovery, and prepare for the next storm.”
In addition to Leader Pelosi, the Members of the delegation included:
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), Judiciary Committee;
Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Ranking Member, Small Business Committee; Natural Resources Committee; Financial Services Committee;
Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Judiciary Committee; Homeland Security Committee;
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Ranking Member, Rules Committee; Agriculture Committee;
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Financial Services Committee; Foreign Affairs Committee;
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Appropriations Committee;
Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Ways & Means Committee; Intelligence Committee;
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Agriculture Committee; Chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus;
Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Energy & Commerce Committee;
Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Oversight & Government Reform Committee; Foreign Affairs Committee;
Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), Transportation & Infrastructure Committee; Oversight & Government Reform Committee; Agriculture Committee;
Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA), Agriculture Committee; Small Business Committee
Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), Judiciary Committee; Homeland Security Committee;
Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Education & Workforce Committee; Small Business Committee; Foreign Affairs Committee.
Governor Kenneth E. Mapp thanked the team for their visit and continued interest in the Territory’s recovery and said “it demonstrates to our citizens the interest and the concern of Congress.”
“Your visit will help to take that message back to your colleagues and you can speak from first-hand experience,” Mapp added.