Sunday, December 10, 2017 10:11 pm Last modified: 9:24 pm

Sen. Janette Millin Young Meets with Congressional Leaders

Sen. Janette Millin Young at a Sept. 1 Rules and Judiciary Committee meeting. (V.I. Legislature photo by Barry Leerdam)

Sen. Janette Millin Young at a Sept. 1 Rules and Judiciary Committee meeting. (V.I. Legislature photo by Barry Leerdam)

Top U.S. Senate leaders and other key legislators committed their full support to help the U.S. Virgin Islands with recovery efforts following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Sen. Janette Millin Young said Thursday in a news release.

Young said she was the sole representative from the U.S. Virgin Islands to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), and others in Washington, D.C. this week. Representatives from the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislatures and several White House officials were involved in the talks that initially focused on recovery efforts for Puerto Rico.

“I was able to have the full attention of Sens. McConnell and Schumer as well as the other officials in explaining that although Puerto Rico and its 3.2 million residents are in serious trouble, the U.S. Virgin Islands with its 110,000 residents must be included in the recovery efforts,” Young said.“Every member of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, said ‘You’ve got us,’” she said.

Advertising (skip)



“While we don’t have the number of people in distress that Puerto Rico has, I was able to explain the critical problems our people on St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix and the smaller islands have been dealing with on a daily basis for the past month,” she said.

President Donald Trump has promised help, but members of Congress make decisions on funding, and how much and where it goes, Young said.

“I am pleased that they are so sympathetic to the plight of the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as to Puerto Rico,” she said.

Young, was on St. Thomas during both hurricanes and her home suffered significant damage. She said she managed to get a ride on a private plane to San Juan last weekend to meet with Puerto Rico’s members of the NHCSL. Kenneth Romero, the group’s executive director, invited Young to participate in the Washington, D.C., meeting, which was organized to address the immediate need for federal money to cover V.I. payroll, contracts, hurricane recovery and community disaster assistance.

Young said she was moved by the expression of friendship and solidarity from the people in Puerto Rico and was impressed by the stance of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz that drew national attention to the delays in Puerto Rico receiving help following the storms. Cruz gave Young a tour of Puerto Rico’s emergency operations center in San Juan. During the tour, Cruz andYoung were interviewed by the CBS-TV newsmagazine “60 Minutes.”

“Hurricanes Irma and Maria emphasized the common struggles both territories experience after a natural disaster. And I’m very pleased with the bipartisan support in Washington that understands the needs of both of the U.S. territories in the Caribbean,” Young said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Support the VI Source

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall - we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. Our sites are more popular than ever, but advertising revenues are falling - so you can see why we could use your help. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. If everybody who appreciates our reporting efforts were to help fund it for as little as $1, our future would be much more secure. Thanks in advance for your support!

  1. fred renner Reply

    Well that’s just great–did she also tell them about how much in debt the USVI is because they are top heavy in government positions-such as 15 senators and staff for just over 100,000 people, failed utilities, schools, police department, hospitals, pension plans, etc and that their two main sources of income-property taxes (which they were very lax on collecting) and cruise ship income will be severely impacted? are they going to continue with fossil fuels to provide electricity at such high prices that none of the government agencies previously named can’t pay their bills?

Leave a Reply