For Immediate Release
House Passes Congresswoman Lee's Resolution
Washington, DC - Last night, by voice vote, the House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Lee's bi-partisan resolution, H. Con. Res. 496, calling for the United States to support relief and reconstruction efforts for Caribbean islands ravaged by recent hurricanes.
The region was attacked by four hurricanes - Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne -- in five weeks. The Administration has proposed a $50 million emergency supplemental appropriation to assist the region.
"This is a good, small - very small - first step, but much more is needed. Now we begin the work to ensure the substantial needs are matched with more substantial resources."
The hardest hit countries, Grenada, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, and the Bahamas are still struggling to offer relief to residents, and reconstruction will take years. More than 440, 000 people were displaced throughout the region. In Grenada, the opening of the school year is postponed until 2005. More than 2,000 Haitians died and hundreds remain missing as a result of the floods caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne. Although more than 15 islands throughout the region were affected by the hurricanes, the entire Caribbean community has supported the relief and reconstruction efforts for those most in need.
Congresswoman Lee noted that, "Americans, especially Floridians and Californians, know firsthand the suffering caused by natural disasters, hurricanes, fires, tornadoes and earthquakes." She explained that, "Our third border is in great need and the United States needs to show our support for the entire region."