Press Releases

Statement from Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett Regarding Disaster-Related Unemployment Assistance

Washington, October 4, 2018
Washington, D.C. –Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (USVI), Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment released the following statement regarding her amendment to the FAA Reauthorization bill which will give Virgin Islanders an additional 26 weeks’ worth of assistance:

“I am pleased that the Plaskett Amendment was included in the FAA Reauthorization bill that has passed the Senate. My amendment provides for an additional 26 weeks’ worth of assistance, retroactive from the time of expiration in late March, up to 52 weeks after each disaster declaration for Hurricanes Irma and Maria (which would be the week of September 6th and September 20th, respectively). It amounts to the longest Disaster Unemployment Assistance period ever extended by Congress.

“The bill also establishes a stable funding stream to invest in pre-disaster mitigation before a major disaster strikes, by depositing into a national fund for local government projects an amount equal to 6 percent of the costs of each disaster. A stable funding stream for more investment in pre-disaster hazard mitigation will save property, jobs, money, and lives. This focus on improving pre-disaster planning and mitigation is so that communities may be better prepared for future disasters.

“Extending these benefits through my amendment will benefit the Virgin Islands tremendously with our ongoing rebuilding efforts making the Virgin Islands whole again after experiencing two devastating hurricanes. The United States government and the international community has an obligation to work with the affected local governments to restore infrastructure, provide critical humanitarian assistance, and help recover and build back our islands.”