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Friday, May 27, 2022
HomeNewsArchives'FRIENDS ON CAPITOL HILL' PLEDGE V.I. SUPPORT

'FRIENDS ON CAPITOL HILL' PLEDGE V.I. SUPPORT

Gov. Charles Turnbull praised and thanked the congressional delegation visiting the territory this weekend at a reception on St. John Saturday night, commenting on the importance of having "influential friends on Capitol Hill" working with his administration.
At the gathering in the Battery, the governor formally welcomed Reps. Don Young of Alaska and Collin Petersen of Minnesota. Joining them later was Eni Faleomavega, the congressional delegate from another U.S. territory, American Samoa.
The members of Congress were into the second day of their visit to the Virgin Islands, part of a tour of U.S. territories.
Speaking before a host of cabinet members and other top officials, the governor said, "You would be surprised to know the amount of information these gentlemen have on the Virgin Islands. They know more about this place than some of us do, and we want to thank them for what they have done, what they're doing and what they are thinking to do."
In his brief remarks Turnbull expressed special thanks to Young for, from his position as chair of the House Resources Committee, having helped V.I. Delegate Donna Christian- Christensen learn the ins and outs of Washington lawmaking.
The Resources Committee deals with legislation relating to public lands such as the V.I. National Park. It also addresses matters concerning fish and wildlife and the environment.
Young said one reason he was more than willing to serve as a mentor for Christensen was because Alaska was a U.S. territory for many years before becoming a state. "Your delegate does an excellent job," he said. "I know what you're going through."
Young said he will be leaving his chairmanship of the Resources Committee but pledged to Turnbull that he will continue to assist the territory in his new position as chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The governor said the territory is fortunate to have senior lawmakers such as Young and Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, who visited the territory two weeks ago, as friends. "We have been able to establish a good rapport," he said.
Rangel also introduced legislation in Congress last week to amend the law that now prevents anyone buying U.S.-made tobacco products stamped "export only" in the Virgin Islands from taking them back to the U.S. mainland. Turnbull said having Rangel's support was almost like having a second delegate in Washington.
Faleomavaega said that as a delegate from a Pacific territory, he has a natural alliance with the Virgin Islands and a shared love of island life. He said a big challenge is to move his agenda through a Congress where territorial delegates do not have voting power.
Faleomavaega said he, like Christensen, has to work 10 times as hard as a mainland representative to get the support of fellow members of Congress. Some of them, he said, don't even know where his home district is. He recalled a speaking occasion where one colleague introduced him as the "delegate from Somalia."
The delegation arrived on St. Thomas Friday, met with members of the 23rd Legislature and were treated to an evening of entertainment at the St. John Westin Resort. They were scheduled to take a tour of the V.I. National Park and to meet with residents of Water Island on Sunday before leaving the territory.

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Gov. Charles Turnbull praised and thanked the congressional delegation visiting the territory this weekend at a reception on St. John Saturday night, commenting on the importance of having "influential friends on Capitol Hill" working with his administration.
At the gathering in the Battery, the governor formally welcomed Reps. Don Young of Alaska and Collin Petersen of Minnesota. Joining them later was Eni Faleomavega, the congressional delegate from another U.S. territory, American Samoa.
The members of Congress were into the second day of their visit to the Virgin Islands, part of a tour of U.S. territories.
Speaking before a host of cabinet members and other top officials, the governor said, "You would be surprised to know the amount of information these gentlemen have on the Virgin Islands. They know more about this place than some of us do, and we want to thank them for what they have done, what they're doing and what they are thinking to do."
In his brief remarks Turnbull expressed special thanks to Young for, from his position as chair of the House Resources Committee, having helped V.I. Delegate Donna Christian- Christensen learn the ins and outs of Washington lawmaking.
The Resources Committee deals with legislation relating to public lands such as the V.I. National Park. It also addresses matters concerning fish and wildlife and the environment.
Young said one reason he was more than willing to serve as a mentor for Christensen was because Alaska was a U.S. territory for many years before becoming a state. "Your delegate does an excellent job," he said. "I know what you're going through."
Young said he will be leaving his chairmanship of the Resources Committee but pledged to Turnbull that he will continue to assist the territory in his new position as chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The governor said the territory is fortunate to have senior lawmakers such as Young and Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, who visited the territory two weeks ago, as friends. "We have been able to establish a good rapport," he said.
Rangel also introduced legislation in Congress last week to amend the law that now prevents anyone buying U.S.-made tobacco products stamped "export only" in the Virgin Islands from taking them back to the U.S. mainland. Turnbull said having Rangel's support was almost like having a second delegate in Washington.
Faleomavaega said that as a delegate from a Pacific territory, he has a natural alliance with the Virgin Islands and a shared love of island life. He said a big challenge is to move his agenda through a Congress where territorial delegates do not have voting power.
Faleomavaega said he, like Christensen, has to work 10 times as hard as a mainland representative to get the support of fellow members of Congress. Some of them, he said, don't even know where his home district is. He recalled a speaking occasion where one colleague introduced him as the "delegate from Somalia."
The delegation arrived on St. Thomas Friday, met with members of the 23rd Legislature and were treated to an evening of entertainment at the St. John Westin Resort. They were scheduled to take a tour of the V.I. National Park and to meet with residents of Water Island on Sunday before leaving the territory.