Congressional Black Caucus Seeks More Help for U.S. Virgin Islands
U.S. Virgin Islands
10/13/2017, 2:25 p.m.
When Stacey Plaskett joined Vice President Mike Pence recently in touring the U.S. Virgin Islands to assess the damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria, among the many changes she noticed was the brown and barren landscape — shocking in a tourism destination renowned for its lush foliage, palm trees and crystal-clear waters, reports NBC News. Plaskett, the Virgin Islands' non-voting delegate in Congress, joined Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and caucus members Val Demings, D-Fla., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., at a news conference to stress that it's time to give the roughly 100,000 residents of the U.S. territory renewed hope, too, after back to back hurricanes. The damage has been “profound,” said Plaskett, a co-chairwoman of the Congressional Caribbean Caucus, along with Clarke and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. “Three separate islands require our attention,” Clarke said. “The federal response has been too slow.” The CBC's plea came on the same day the House overwhelmingly approved $36.5 billion in emergency disaster relief, flood insurance and emergency wildfire funding amid a rash of deadly weather events in Texas, Florida, California, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. No Democrat opposed the package; more than 60 Republicans voted against it. The White House said in a statement Thursday, President Donald Trump is pleased with the vote and will “continue to work with Congress to provide the resources necessary to recover.”