Virginia Lawmaker Says He Feels Powerless To Help In Wake Of Typhoon Haiyan | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Virginia Lawmaker Says He Feels Powerless To Help In Wake Of Typhoon Haiyan

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The Virginia lawmaker with the largest numbers of Filipinos in his district has been trying to find ways to assist his community his constituents in the wake of the devastating typhoon, but as of now there's not much he can do to help.

Lawmakers are used to helping constituents in times of need. They have just enough power to grease the wheels of the federal bureaucracy and speed up some requests for help. That's made this a tough week for Congressman Scott Rigell (R-Va.), who represents Virginia Beach, which is nearly four percent Filipino.

While Rigell says it's good that a U.S. military strike group has begun unloading supplies to the storm ravaged country, he says his constituents are still reeling.

"They have connections, family connections to two of the island areas that have been hardest hit," Rigell says. "So there's understandable concern. They have not been able to reach loved ones."

Rigell says that, at this time, they are hoping for a story of reunification, but he says they haven't been able to report even one as of yet.

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