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V.I. Republican National Committeeman Says Plaskett Should Be Willing To Work With G.O.P. For Good of Territory

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CHRISTIANSTED — V.I. Republican National Committeeman Jevon Williams released the following statement in response to Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett’s criticism of the administration in the opinion page of today’s Virgin Islands Free Press among other media:

“Congresswoman Plaskett has repeatedly shown that she is more interested in party politics than rolling up her sleeves and working with the Republican administration of President Trump and the Republican congressional majority to help our people and the Virgin Islands recover. It isn’t in the best interest of our people and territory having our non-voting delegate to Congress engage in political warfare against those who control access to the federal dollars that our territory is so badly in need of.”

Williams says the record is clear that Republicans have done more in the first year of this administration to support the Virgin Islands than Democrats did in the entire two terms and eight years of the previous administration:

— Trump released an unprecedented statement on Transfer Day 2017, the centennial of the U.S. acquisition of the Virgin Islands.

— Trump has had repeated telephone discussions with Governor Kenneth Mapp. The two leaders also had a formal meeting in October 2017. Mapp never formally met with President Barack Obama, according to published

— Vice President Mike Pence flew Air Force 2 to St. Croix on an official visit in October 2017 – the first official visit by a vice president since Vice President George H.W. Bush. While then-Vice President Joe Biden vacationed on St. Croix he never came to the Virgin Islands for an official visit.

— Pence met with Mapp in the White House in November 2017.

— Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited the Virgin Islands in his first month on the job for Transfer Day 2017. His predecessor in the former administration didn’t visit the territory until the final months of 2016, when the administration was a lame duck.

— Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was in the territory in November 2017.

— Zinke and Mapp met in Washington in November 2017.

— Education Secretary Betsy DeVos assessed the state of public schools during an official November 2017 visit.

— The Health and Human Services acting secretary, Eric Hargan, visited St. Thomas in November 2017. He was accompanied by Robert Kadlex, assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

— Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson gave the Virgin Islands $243 million in federal funds in February 2018.

— Deputy Housing and Urban Development Secretary Pam Patenaude visited St. Thomas to announce Carson’s release of $243 million in federal funds for the territory.

— Mapp met with Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, in November 2017.

— Seema Verma, the federal administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, granted waivers to the Virgin Islands for Medicare,

Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements in September 2017.

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, as well as other congressional Republican leadership, met with Mapp in November 2017.

— Attorney General Jeff Sessions nominated an interim U.S. attorney for the Virgin Islands in January 2018.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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