Black Caucus Members Push Trump to Help Virgin Islands. Led by Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-LA), members of the CBC pushed for more assistance and attention for the Virgin Islands.
“There is massive devastation that the people of the Virgin Islands are experiencing right now, support that is not being given to them, attention that they are not receiving that they should be receiving,’’ Plaskett said on October 11 on Capitol Hill.
The Islands are a U.S. territory, but it has become unclear to political onlookers whether President Donald Trump is aware of that. Last week he referred to Virgin Islands Governor Ken Mapp as the “President of the Virgin Islands.” What Trump appeared to not know is that he is the President of the Virgin Islands.
Trump has made general statements of support for all the recent natural disaster impacting the Caribbean and Texas, California and Puerto Rico. He also visited Puerto Rico on October 3.
The islands have been hit by two category five hurricanes and 100,000 residents have been impacted. On October 12, he U.S. House voted on a $36 billion package of emergency disaster relief and flood insurance to deal with the damage done in Texas, Florida, California, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by bad weather without precedent. Over 60 Republicans and no Democrats voted against the aid package.
Over $2 billion worth of damage is estimated to be done to the Virgin Islands. The Senate is expected to approve the $36 billion in aid next week after being on recess.
“We think it’s important for people not only who are on the ground to see the cavalry coming, but it’s important for us to go down and independently assess the needs of people,’’ said CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) at a press conference on Capitol Hill on October 12.
In a letter sent to the President last week, Chairman Richmond wrote, “The United States Virgin Islands need our help and they need it now. I urge you to immediately provide supplies and medical equipment, including medical ships, and assist rescue and evacuation efforts. I urge you to provide desperately-needed manpower to get supplies out of containers and into the hands of the people who need them. I also urge you to utilize all available resources to provide short- and long-term shelter for displaced Americans, including creative, previously successful means, such as cruise ships and flotels.”
Joining the press conference were Reps. Val Demings (D-FL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Karen Bass (D-CA) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY).