Washington — Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett addressed Congress yesterday, and had some fiery words for the chamber. Plaskett ripped into the Congressional body and their concerns involving insurance and cost sharing in the wake of a catastrophic storm.
The Congresswoman pointed out that Congress was in fact the institution, “That underfunds the territories to begin with, that puts arbitrary caps on medicaid — defunds us in terms of the amount of funding we receive in transportation costs — and then when a disaster strikes and we’re unable to meet those costs, it becomes a question of why aren’t we being responsible about our stuff; it just friking drives me crazy, Plaskett said.”
The Congresswoman’s testimony begins at the 1:34:43 mark.
Plaskett and other Congressional members used the moment to highlight disproportionate disaster response in U.S. territories and federal laws that impede recovery efforts. The Congresswoman was refereing to her role on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee which allowed the Virgin Islands to access over $51 million in federal aid for emergency response and public roads.
Plaskett and Puerto Rican Delegate to Congress Jenniffer González succesfully lobbied Congress to change the law requiring the territories to rebuild their damaged infrastructure ‘as is’ — with the law now stating ‘as it should be.’
Plaskett’s Role in Committees and Caucuses
- Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
- Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
- Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- The Interior, Energy and Environment
- Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules
- Committee on Agriculture
- Commodity Exchanges Energy and Credit
- General Farm Commodities and Risk Management
The @FOMBPR sent a letter to Senate and House leadership supporting @RepJenniffer‘s efforts to #PassPRIMA, a bipartisan bill that would help stabilize and rebuild the health infrastructure and physician workforce in Puerto Rico. Read the letter here: https://t.co/3eOOLEzDAB
— MMAPA (@mmapapr) November 16, 2018
Since 2017, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa were struck by catastrophic tropical cyclones — something the U.S. Territories seem to have in common.
In addition Texas, Florida and the Carolinas were walloped by hurricanes as well. More hearings on disaster response and aid in the territories are expected when freshman House members take office in January.
Read: Military Report Warned of ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ in USVI, Puerto Rico
A new climate report was released on Black Friday, with President Trump saying, “I don’t believe it.” Thirteen federal agencies compiled the federal report and agree that climate change has already wreaked havoc on the United States, and the worst is likely yet to come.