Q: How does that compare to how you run your own office?

A: [Laughs.] Well, my staff knows I’m pretty intense when it comes to work. I do not want us to be a reactive office. I want us to be proactive. 

I like a good laugh too. Ron de Lugo, if you were from the Virgin Islands, he knew who your parents were and your uncles, your children. I want my staff to know I care about them as people, and their families also, but the work and the commitment to the Virgin Islands and to this office has to be second to none. 

Right when I left the Hill in 1989, the Virgin Islands was struck by Hurricane Hugo. I came back to volunteer, and I can recall seeing Ron de Lugo sitting at his desk. I just thought of the weight that was on him, being here in Washington and having to be a voice for the Virgin Islands, particularly St. Croix, which was absolutely decimated.

Three years ago, after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the Virgin Islands, my staff and I had a late-night discussion about which legislation we thought would be passed. I was sitting here at my desk and realized, “Oh my gosh, this is right where Ron de Lugo was some 30-odd years ago, and here I am. Now I know what he was thinking.”