This morning, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) led the weekly leadership Stakeout press conference to discuss the hurricane and wildfire disaster relief package that will be on the floor this week, as well as encourage Americans to come together to seek understanding and support one another. Chair McMorris Rodgers invited Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) to share her perspective and reiterate just how important this disaster relief is for Puerto Rico.
The Chair’s remarks, as delivered:
I dropped my daughter off at school the other day, and in that moment she turned and she blew me a kiss. And it struck me how much it meant to me, first of all, but just the fact that so many right now do not have the security to wake up, go to school, or sleep in a warm bed at night. There’s been tremendous devastation due to hurricanes, wildfires, other events. We continue to hear the stories, and our heart goes out to so many families and people whose lives have been turned upside down.
Puerto Ricans are Americans, and as Americans we take care of our own. This island is totally devastated, and I’m pleased that the Delegate from Puerto Rico, Jenniffer González is with us today. She’s been a tireless advocate and a tremendous leader as they begin a long process of rebuilding.
The aid package that we’re going to bring up later this week not only addresses the rebuilding in Puerto Rico and Texas and Louisiana and Florida, but also the wildfires we’ve seen in western states that have also been truly devastating.
But as I think of all the natural disasters and the national tragedies, I find myself just wanting to share a message with everyone in this country. I am reminded just how important it is how we treat each other. As basic as the Golden Rule — to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. To seek understanding in a way that helps support each other, and that happens both in times of need and celebration.
Too often today, we put labels on people. We cast them aside, or worse, we attack them, whether it’s their creed, their skin color, their religion, their political views. Let’s pray as a nation that each one of us can be an ambassador of peace. We are in this together as Americans, and I challenge everyone to go have coffee with someone they don’t agree with. Listen to them. Invite your neighbors in for dinner. Put the smartphone away. Be open to new ideas. We are all part of the moral fabric that holds our country together and let’s make sure we’re a part of making it strong.