Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI), ranking member on the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy and Environment, released the following statement regarding a recent article in the National Review urging Congress not to trust the USVI with post-disaster funds:
“It has been my position that the use of post-disaster federal funds to the U.S. Virgin Islands must receive the necessary oversight from Congress and there must be compliance safeguards to ensure adequate expenditure of those funds. I do, however, take exception to the notion that the Congress cannot trust the Virgin Islands of the United States to adequately utilize much-needed federal aid to assist in its recovery and rebuilding effort post hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“That the Congress should do anything other than own its constitutional obligation to the insular territories is to continue the years of benign neglect which are primarily responsible for the fiscal woes of the U.S. Virgin Islands and others.
“What the Virgin Islands of the United States needs now more than ever is a commitment from the Congress that the Virgin Islands will be treated equally concerning allocation of federal resources — especially in basic social services like education, support of veterans and access to healthcare. The job of this Congress is not to enthrall itself in domestic politics.”