Hoyer Leads Congressional Delegation to Haiti

For Immediate Release:

August 6, 2010

Contact:Katie Grant
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) led a bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Haiti today, Friday, August 6th.  Joining him were Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Congressman David Price (D-NC), Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), and Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL).

The delegation traveled to Haiti this morning and returned to the U.S. this afternoon.  Members met with the President of Haiti, Rene Preval, at the National Palace.  Members also met with Ambassador Ken Merten and officials at the U.S. Embassy to discuss ongoing rebuilding efforts and U.S. assistance to the Haitian people.  Members saw a displaced persons camp and damage to the capitol of Haiti.
“I wanted to bring a bipartisan delegation to Haiti to assess the conditions on the ground and see what impact U.S. aid is having to provide medical relief and start rebuilding,” said Hoyer. “We also came to underscore the need for free and fair elections in Haiti this November.  The destruction and suffering we saw in Haiti was striking, but so was the spirit of their people.  We remain committed to providing assistance as Haiti continues to recover from the tragic earthquake that took the lives of so many.”
In July, Congress passed a supplemental appropriations measure providing $2.8 billion in aid to Haiti.
Rep. Bartlett said, “On behalf of all of our colleagues in the U.S. Congress, we want the people of Haiti to know that Americans haven't forgotten them. That combined with the fact that I intended to become a medical missionary when I went to college are the reasons that I welcomed the opportunity to join this bipartisan delegation. We understand that it will take time to recover from the devastating earthquake. Now that the immediate disaster response is past, we were eager to review the impact of the government aid as well as the charity contributions from millions of Americans in helping Haitians rebuild what was shattered by the quake.”
 “It is an honor to join our Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and my colleagues to assess the situation on the ground in Haiti.  Seven months after the earthquake, it is clear that there is much to be done as this nation continues to recover.  As a representative of the second largest Haitian immigrant population in the U.S., it was important for me to review the situation firsthand and evaluate the progress of the recovery efforts,” stated Rep. Clarke. “The success and prosperity of Haiti directly affects Brooklyn residents and the U.S. as a whole.  Let us never forget that as we unite with the people of Haiti, Haitian-Americans, and the Haitian Diaspora to assist with the development of this great nation, we are forever guided by the words etched indelibly on the Haitian flag, ‘L’Union fait la force’ …through unity, there is strength!”
“In the 8 months since the devastating earthquake, the Haitian people have once again shown the world what remarkable resiliency they possess,” said Congresswoman Edwards. “I am honored to join House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on this bipartisan delegation to see firsthand the reconstruction efforts on the ground and the effectiveness of U.S. aid.  It is important to the people of Haiti and the Haitian community in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District to know that we will continue to take action now and in the future.”
“I'm grateful to Majority Leader Hoyer for spearheading this CODEL to Haiti so we can see firsthand how the recovery from the destructive earthquake is progressing. As we continue to provide assistance to Haiti, the federal government must ensure the proper oversight is taking place,” said Rep. Schock.
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