Swalwell and Engel Lead 71 House Members in Urging Swift Rescue of Americans Stranded by Hurricane Irma

September 8, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Reps. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) and Eliot Engel (NY-16) on Friday led 71 other House members in a bipartisan call for assistance in rescuing Americans stranded in the Caribbean by Hurricane Irma.

Congress already has made hundreds of inquiries to the State Department regarding constituents left marooned by Irma, which was a Category 5 storm when it ripped through many Caribbean islands.

“We encourage you to expeditiously assist all the people now dealing with the aftermath of Irma; of course the most direct responsibility for our government are the Americans also stranded in these islands,” the House Members wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. “Our constituents are asking for help. Such assistance is all the more important because of the scope of the devastation and the difficulty in coordinating relief efforts among so many different jurisdictions.”

The letter also notes that Hurricane Jose – now a Category 4 storm – may pass through some of the same areas soon. “We urge you to rescue Americans before doing so is made all the more difficult by another storm; further we ask for an update on what you are doing and plan to do in this regard.”

Read the full text of the letter here.