Washington (DC) Congressman Al Green voted yes on a congressional resolution (H. Res. 1021) to express solidarity with the people of the Republic of Haiti. The Congressman was an original co-sponsor of the resolution, which passed the House today by a vote of 411-1.
Introduced by Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Barbara Lee, the resolution expresses condolences for the approximately 200,000 lives that have been lost during the 7.0 earthquake that devastated the capital of Haiti last week. It is estimated that over 3,000,000 people were directly affected by the earthquake, in which several regions in Haiti were severely hit, namely the cities of Port-au-Prince, Carrefour and Jacmel.
The resolution recognizes the Department of Homeland Security for granting Temporary Protected Status to Haitian immigrants. Green stated that, “The challenges in helping Haiti are immense, and the U.S. and partner countries have made important contributions to the recovery efforts. I commend the Obama Administration for granting Temporary Protected Status for Haitian nationals in the United States, many of whom are unable to return home due to the destruction in their country.”
The resolution proposes several policy recommendations to assist Haiti in rebuilding the infrastructure of their country. Of distinct importance is the plan to erase Haiti’s debt, a decision that would need to be endorsed by the Inter-American Development Bank in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund. This would allow the country to start with a clean slate and use the majority of donated monies to directly improve the lives of the Haitian people.
“It is clear that the people of Haiti are now facing a humanitarian crisis that is unimaginable and that will take years to recover from. I support a sustained commitment to Haiti and encourage innovative thinking in providing long-term assistance to Haiti,” stated Congressman Green.