Supporters of Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee held a campaign fundraiser for her Friday night, but she was too busy to make an appearance.
The Congresswoman was actually thousands of miles away getting a first hand look at the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti.
Earlier in the week, Jackson Lee announced that she was working with Houston pastor George Foreman to assist the Americans who were detained for allegedly trying to smuggle 33 Haitian children across the Dominican Republic border.
Below is a brief overview of Jackson Lee’s trip sent to 2 On The Beat by her political campaign spokeswoman Sue Davis:
Houston Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee joined a 12-member congressional delegation for a whirlwind one-day visit to Haiti today for what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described as an assessment of “ongoing reconstruction efforts ahead of the U.S. Congress considering long term assistance” to the earthquake damaged nation.
Jackson Lee, a veteran member of Congress elected in 1994, has visited Haiti in the past.
The delegation, led be Pelosi, included 11 Democrats – including Florida Sen. Bill Nelson – and one Republican – Florida Sen. George LeMieux.
The lawmakers were scheduled to meet with Haitian President René Préval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive as well as visit aid distribution sites and medical facilities.
Meetings with representatives from the U.S. military, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United Nations and humanitarian organizations also were planned.
Pelosi said it was “crucial that the House and Senate — on a bipartisan basis — have the opportunity to examine” relief efforts that are underway.
The Obama administration has pledged assistance to help rebuild Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people.
Jackson Lee, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-chair of the Congressional Children’s Caucus, said she wanted to “express my condolences to the people and leadership of Haiti as they work to rebuild their country and livelihoods in the wake of an immeasurable tragedy.”
The lawmaker said she was seeing “the remarkable job that our multiagency team is doing to assist the people of Haiti.”
Jackson Lee said it was important for Congress to “have the full picture of the challenges facing Haiti’s road to recovery,” adding that she regarded Congress’ response “an opportunity to help our neighbor and ally fulfill its potential as a stable and prosperous nation.”