Politics

Top Congressional Lawmakers Survey Hurricane Damage

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer bought a bipartisan delegation to survey the hurricane damage in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The group left Thursday, where it received a briefing on the devastation left by Irma and Maria just over a month ago, and will return Saturday.

The delegation — which includes Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, GOP Rep. Jeff Denham of California and Democratic Reps. Norma Torres of California and Anthony Brown of Maryland — was joined by Virgin Islands Delegate Stacey Plaskett in St. Croix Friday, where they toured a condemned school and the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital.

“The one thing I will tell you, especially from a bipartisan point here, is we will continue to make sure we solve these problems,” McCarthy said Friday. “We will be with you today, tomorrow and as we rebuild.”

Hoyer echoed McCarthy’s assertion that the parties will work together on recovery efforts.

“This is not a partisan issue, as you can tell. This is about helping our fellow Americans not only be rescued, but to be restored and be restored at 21st-century levels,” Hoyer said, adding that he believes modernizing their infrastructure is key in preventing the level of devastation seen in the future.

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The delegation will then go to Puerto Rico and meet with Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón and Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. The group will tour the interior island and distribute food and water. Their final stop is the Florida Keys, and they intend to visit a debris removal site and receive a briefing on recovery efforts from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

President Donald Trump signed legislation providing $36.5 billion in emergency aid Thursday.

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