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House Member Frank Pallone Holds Round Table Discussions About His Visits To The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

PERTH AMBOY — U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J. 6th District) met with local advocates and leaders Monday in the city to discuss his Energy and Commerce Committee Delegation weekend trip to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Pallone also sought input and suggestions from the advocates on the ongoing post-Hurricane Maria recovery.

During the trip, Pallone visited numerous locations to examine the relief effort and what can be done to ensure access to energy and address numerous environmental and health concerns.

Pallone’s concerns include access to clean drinking water, the restoration of reliable power and the rebuilding of the electric grid, access to healthcare, and ensuring proper use of government funds.

“During our trip, I was truly inspired by the strength and resiliency of the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” said Pallone, ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “They have made tremendous sacrifices in recent months and as American citizens they deserve the full support and attention of our government.

In the Virgin Islands, Pallone toured damage, visited struggling hospitals and reviewed energy infrastructure. Over the course of the weekend he met with Govs. Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico, and met with Congresswomen Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (Puerto Rico) and Stacey Plaskett (Virgin Islands).

“I remain disappointed with many aspects of the relief effort in crucial areas such as energy, infrastructure and healthcare. It is clear that the (Trump) administration has not acted with the same urgency to aid Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as it has with Texas and Florida. I will continue to hold the Trump administration and Congress accountable as the relief effort moves forward.”

In Puerto Rico, Pallone traveled to the Palo Seco Power Plant, visited the Utuado FEMA aid center, reviewed energy infrastructure in Humacao, and spoke with staff and patients at a children’s hospital in San Juan.

On Nov. 17, Pallone blasted the Trump administration for requesting only $44 billion in supplemental disaster assistance for the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida.

Pallone called the request a “dereliction of duty.”

The request was far less than local, state and territory officials had requested, he said.

Rossello has asked for $94.4 billion to rebuild Puerto Rico’s infrastructure. Mapp has asked for $7.5 billion.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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