ST. THOMAS — Gov. Kenneth Mapp will ask Congress for about $7.5 billion, according to a statement issued by one of the senators travelling to Washington this week.
The figure, which appears in a press release issued by the office of Senate President Myron Jackson, represents a $2-billion increase over the last figure publicly issued by the Mapp administration, which was $5.5 billion. Mapp has previously said the $5.5-billion figure represented a first-guest estimate of the amount of federal assistance required after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the territory in September.
Jackson’s statement did not address the increase.
The new amount represents about $70,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mapp will appear before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee today starting at 9:30 a.m. to address hurricane recovery efforts. The committee hearing kicks off two weeks of meetings with congressional committee chairs and others responsible for the potential passage of a large aid package expected to go through Congress within the next month.
Mapp is scheduled to appear with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosello, Bruce Walker, the Energy Department’s assistant secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, and Maj. Gen. Donald Jackson Jr., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ deputy commanding general for Civil and Emergency Operations.
In federal congressional hearings, witnesses typically appear in panels. The second panel of the day will include Julio Rhymer Sr., the executive director of WAPA, who will appear alongside Ricardo Ramos, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, Jose Roman Morales, acting chairman of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, and Natalie Jaresko, executive director for the Financial Oversight and Management Board, created by the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.
Along with Mapp and Rhymer, will be Jackson, Sen. Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly, Sen. Marvin Blyden, Sen. Positive Nelson, Sen. Tregenza Roach, Sen. Brian Smith, Sen. Kurt Vialet and Sen. Janelle Sarauw, according to Jackson’s statement.
The Energy and Natural Resources Committee is led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Members include Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Sen. John Howeven (R-N.D.), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.V.), Sen Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sen. Angus King Jr. (D-Maine), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)
Jackon’s press release also credits Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett for coordinating the meeting.
Today’s hearing will be streamed online at www.energy.senate.gov.