Plaskett talks Oversight Committee work, CDBG funding

Congressional Democrats still could be considering ways to investigate President Donald Trump, even though the impeachment process is complete. Locally, Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett (D) is on the key House committee that could lead those efforts.

Earlier this month, the courts dismissed a lawsuit from Democrats on the House Oversight Committee. Members alleged that Trump violated the emolument’s clause of the U.S. Constitution. Democrats had been demanding more information to see if the president earned money at Trump Hotel in Washington through the power of his office.

This is a major setback for Democrats who had been trying to get more details about the president’s business dealings while in the White House.

“An elected official such as the president cannot get money interests from business with the federal government,” Plaskett said in a recent interview.

But some work could soon happen on that committee that would affect the Virgin Islands directly. She wants more information about the delay in hurricane recovery funds to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Plaskett says that has been a top priority.

Last week, the Virgin Islands received an additional $779 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to rebuild infrastructure and more. That had been in the works for over a year.

USVI News recently spoke with Plaskett recently about what she hopes the committee can investigate.

“I’ve approached the Oversight Committee about doing investigations about what are the roadblocks and regulations that have been put up to make it more difficult for the Virgin Islands to draw down funding that Congress gave us for the rebuilding,” she said.

Residents of the Virgin Islands can offer their input about ways the funding should be spent, along with the help of local officials. You can find out more information about the funding and how to offer input here.