Selected to Serve as the Highest Ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
Selected to serve as the highest ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. The Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific has broad responsibility over U.S. foreign policy with Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Brunei, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia/French Polynesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, North and South Korea, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia (Far Eastern Policy), Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Taiwan.
Included $33 Million for American Samoa Government in FY04 Interior Appropriations Bill
Worked with the House and Senate to include more than $33 million for American Samoa Government in FY 04 Interior Appropriations bill.
Included $10 Million for American Samoa in Tax Act of 2003
Worked to include more than $10,460,000 for American Samoa in the Jobs and Growth Reconciliation Tax Act of 2003.
Worked to Get $4 Million for the Purchase of Manu'a Vessel
Included $10 million for American Samoa in the Jobs and Growth Reconciliation Tax Act of 2003 and set aside $4 million for the purchase of a vessel for Manu'a.
Worked with the U.S. Army Reserve and the VA CARES Commission to Establish VA Clinic in American Samoa
Worked with the U.S. Army Reserve and the VA CARES Commission to secure a building and establish a VA clinic in American Samoa. Butler building located by PX will be transferred upon completion of American Samoa's new $20 million Army Reserve Center.
Increased the Number of Military Academy Appointments from American Samoa
Worked with House and Senate to increase the number of military academy appointments from American Samoa.
Thanked American Samoa's Veterans and Active Duty Service Members for the Sacrifices They Have Made for Us
Thanked American Samoa's warriors for the sacrifices they have made so that you and I and future generations may live in peace.
Introduced Bill to Allow Active Duty Service Members from American Samoa to Vote in Federal Elections
Introduced H.R. 2010, a bill that would protect the voting rights of military men and women whose home of record is American Samoa.
Fought to Make Congress Pay for Air Fare Costs for Samoans on R&R Leave from Iraq and Afghanistan
Fought to make Congress pay for air fare costs for Samoans on Rest and Relaxation (R&R) leave from Iraq.
Worked to Get Nearly $6 Million for American Samoa's Special Education Programs
Worked to get nearly $6 million for American Samoa's Special Education programs for FY 03. Also included a provision for providing minimum increases in American Samoa's funding.
Restored ASCC's Upward Bound Program Funding
Worked with the U.S. Department of Education to restore ASCC's Upward Bound Program
Got $500,000 to Establish a Computer Lab at ASCC
Submitted a request to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Education to provide ASCC with $500,000 to establish a computer lab for faculty and student use. Funding request was favorably approved.
Elected as Vice Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)
Unanimously elected as Vice-Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Daniel Akaka, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Congressman Ed Case, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, Congressman Xavier Becerra, Congressman Bobby Scott, and Congressman Mike Honda were among those who unanimously voted.
Worked with the U.S. Small Business Administration to Issue Declaration of Disaster as a Result of Cyclone Heta
Worked with the U.S. Small Business Administration to issue declaration of disaster for the Island of Tutuila and The Manu`a Islands for damages resulting from the Tropical Cyclone Heta that hit American Samoa in early January, 2004.
Fought to Make Mobil and BP Pay More than $548,000 in Fines for Selling Non-Compliant Gasoline in American Samoa
Fought to make Mobil and BP pay more than $548,000 in fines for distributing noncompliant gasoline in American Samoa and violating federal EPA regulations.
Accompanied Chairman Richard Pombo and Secretary of Interior Gale Norton on Visit to American Samoa
Accompanied Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) of the House Committee on Resources and Secretary of Interior Gale Norton on visit to American Samoa and other Pacific Island territories.
Working to Extend IRS 936 Benefits for American Samoa's Tuna Canneries
To protect American Samoa's present economy and to encourage and foster other investment and economic development in the Territory, worked with Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate to make permanent or extend the possession tax credit to American Samoa an additional ten years.
Working to Simplify USDA Country of Origin Labeling Requirements for American Samoa's Tuna Industry
Working to keep American Samoa's canneries competitive by exempting StarKist and Chicken of the Sea from country of origin labeling requirements or minimizing the number of labels that may be required.
Testified Before International Trade Commission as Part of Ongoing Effort to Protect American Samoa's Tuna Industry
Testified before International Trade Commission and opposed efforts by Andean countries seeking duty-free status for canned tuna from Ecuador and Colombia.
Opposed Bill that would Destroy American Samoa's Tuna Industry
Opposed S. 1739, a bill introduced on October 16, 2003 which would provide duty-free treatment for tuna from ASEAN nations including Thailand and Taiwan.
Fought to Keep Canned Tuna Out of Central American Free Trade Agreement
Fought to exclude or put canned tuna in longest phase out possible of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
Successfully Protected American Samoa's Canned Tuna Industry from Micronesian Competition
Successfully protected American Samoa's canned tuna industry from Micronesian competition by limiting the amount of tuna that can be exported duty-free from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Supported an Increase in Minimum Wage Rates for Cannery Workers and ASG Employees
Submitted a statement to Special Industry Committee No. 25 urging an increase in minimum wage rates for cannery workers and ASG employees.
Worked to Include Language Beneficial to American Samoa in the Energy Policy Act of 2003
Worked to include language in the Energy Policy Act of 2003 which would be beneficial to American Samoa and other insular areas.
Introduced Legislation to Waive Matching Requirements for Federal Grants
Introduced H.R. 1189, a bill unanimously passed by the House which would assist the territories by waiving matching requirements at a certain level for federal grant programs. Senate is now considering H.R. 1189.
Introduced Legislation Passed by House to Provide ASG Authority to Issue Bonds Exempt from State and Local Taxation
Introduced H.R. 982, a bill unanimously passed by the House which provides the American Samoa Government with the authority to issue bonds exempt from state and federal taxation. Senate is now considering H.R. 982.
Worked to Include Territories in Historic Medicare Legislation
Worked with Delegates to include Territories in the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003.
Invited Aquatic Feeds and Nutrition Expert to American Samoa to Help Territory's Aquaculture Industry
Worked with the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Program to arrange for Dr. Albert Tacon, a specialist in aquatic feeds, to conduct a feasibility study in American Samoa on developing a low cost fish feed using local food products and by-products.
Set Up Workshops for Tilapia Farmers in American Samoa
As part of ongoing effort to diversify American Samoa's economy, worked with Hawaii Sea Grant College Program and the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture to send Dr. Jim Rakocy of the University of the Virgin Islands to American Samoa to conduct aquaculture workshops for tilapia farmers.
Called for EPA Investigation of Gasoline Shortage in American Samoa
Called for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to investigate gasoline shortage in American Samoa.
Called for GAO to Conduct Study About Foreign Investment in the Territory
Called for the General Accounting Office (GAO) to conduct a study about foreign investment in the Territory.
Urged Establishment of VA Clinic in American Samoa
Testified before the Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services (CARES) Commission and urged the Commissioners to establish a VA clinic in American Samoa.
Announced Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program and Made Applications Available
Announced Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program and made applications available in district office in American Samoa.
Spoke at Historical Symposium Regarding Nuclear Disarmament
As Ranking Member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, spoke about opposition to nuclear testings in the South Pacific and praised the government of Kazakhstan for its commitment to nuclear disarmament. Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former Senator Sam Nunn were only other members of Congress selected to speak at this historical symposium.
Spoke at International Samoan Language Commission Conference
Spoke at the International Samoan Language Commission Conference held in Carson, California on December 11, 2003 and presented a paper entitled The Critical Need for a Bilateral Samoan Language Institute to be Established by the Governments of Samoa and American Samoa.
Congratulated Sergeant Major Filipo Ilaoa, Command Sergeant Major Tuni Tupuola and Command Sergeant Major Tusipasi Suiaunoa on Their Retirements from the U.S. Marine Corps
Congratulated Command Sergeant Major Filipo Lokeni Ilaoa, Command Sergeant Major Tunu I. Tupuola, and Command Sergeant Major Tusipasi Suiaunoa for their 30 years of service in the United States Marine Corps.
Congratulated Iuniasolua (Iuni) Savusa on His Promotion as Command Sergeant Major of the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, LA
Congratulated Iuniasolua (Iuni) Savusa on his promotion as Command Sergeant Major (CSM) of the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Congratulated Evelyn Vaitautolu-Langford on Her History-Making Promotion to Lieutenant Colonel
Congratulated Major Evelyn Vaitautolu-Langford on her promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.
Congratulated Mrs. Meritiana Savea Upon Her Receipt of 2003 Presidential Award
Congratulated Mrs. Meritiana Savea upon her receipt of 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
Congratulated Tisha A. Brookshire on Promotion to Vice President of Cummins Southern Plains, Ltd.
Congratulated Ms. Tisha A. Brookshire, granddaughter of William and Bessie Danielson from the village of Futiga, American Samoa, on her promotion to Vice President of Cummins Southern Plains, Ltd. (CSPL).
Congratulated Francis Fenumia'i Kelemete for representing American Samoa in the 76th annual Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee
Congratulated Francis Fenumia'i Kelemete for representing American Samoa in the 76th annual Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee held in Washington, D.C.
Supported Congressional Efforts to fund Public Health Departments, Including $1.15 Million for American Samoa's Department of Health
Supported Congressional efforts to fund Public Health Departments, including $1.15 million for American Samoa's Department of Health, in order to help them prepare for responding to terrorism and other public health emergencies.
Worked to Make Sure Congress Included More than $5.4 Million for American Samoa's Department of Homeland Security in Emergency Wartime Supplemental Act of 2003
Worked to make sure Congress included more than $5.4 Million for American Samoa's Department of Homeland Security in the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Act of 2003. $3,926,000 is to be used for first responder preparedness, and to mitigate the costs of enhanced security at critical infrastructure facilities during the period of hostilities with Iraq and future periods of heightened threat. An additional $1,482,000 is to be used for the purchase of emergency respond equipment, for costs related to planning, conducting and evaluating chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) terrorism exercises, to establish CBRNE-related awareness level training capabilities in the territory, and for administrative and planning costs associated within the ODP State Homeland Security Grant Program and updating and implementing the State Homeland Security Strategy.
Worked with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to Hire U.S. Nationals and Citizens from American Samoa as Airport Security Screeners
After successfully working with the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to allow U.S. nationals to be hired as airport security screeners, worked with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to hire U.S. nationals and citizens from American Samoa to work as airport security screeners at the Pago Pago International Airport.
Joined in Dedication Ceremony of $13 Million Resource Facility to Benefit Samoan Community in Hawaii
At the personal invitation of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, spoke at dedication ceremony of brand new $13 million, 50,000 square foot community center to benefit Samoan community in Hawaii.
Worked to Make Sure American Samoa's Teachers Could Participate in Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Worked to make sure American Samoa's teachers could participate in student loan forgiveness program for teachers in mathematics, science, and special education employed in low-income areas.
Announced that Teachers Employed in American Samoa May be Eligible to Apply for Cancellation of their Student Loans
Announced that teachers employed in American Samoa may be eligible to apply for cancellation of their student loans. In order to qualify, an individual must work as a full-time teacher for five consecutive years in an elementary or high school that has been designated as low-income. Thirty-seven schools in American Samoa are designated as low-income. .
Assisted with Rubella Outbreak in Samoa
Assisted with rubella outbreak in the Independent State of Samoa.
Introduced Legislation to Provide a Decommissioned NOAA Vessel to Utrok Atoll
Introduced H.R. 2584, a bill passed by the House and Senate to provide a decommissioned NOAA vessel to the residents of Utrok Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Invited by President George W. Bush to Attend the Signing of an Executive Order to Reestablish the Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA)
Invited by President George W. Bush to attend the signing of an executive order to re-establish the Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA). The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people and only six others were invited to stand by and be photographed with the President during the signing including Congresswoman Donna Christensen, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Secretary of Interior, U.S. Secretary of Labor, and the Governor of Guam, Felix Camacho.
Invited by President George W. Bush to White House for Signing of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003
Invited by President Bush to the White House for the signing of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003. Only five other members of Congress attended the signing held in the Oval office on Monday July 28, 2003. These members included Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Congressman Peter King (R-NY) and Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA). U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell also was in attendance.
Invited by the National Education Association (NEA) to be the Keynote Speaker at the NEA's annual Asian and Pacific Islander Observance
Invited by the National Education Association (NEA) to be the keynote speaker at the NEA's annual Asian and Pacific Islander Observance.
Gave Opening Remarks at Pacific Night and Officially Welcomed More than 400 Guests
As the Ranking Member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, gave opening remarks and officially welcomed more than four hundred guests to Pacific Night 2003.
Got Four Fire-Trucks For American Samoa, Free of Charge to ASG, Valued at More than $575,000 if Purchased New
Got four fire-trucks for American Samoa, free of charge to ASG, and valued at more than $575,00 if purchased new. Each truck had less than 30,000 miles.
Spoke at the Federal Asian Pacific American Council's (FAPAC) Annual Conference
Invited to speak at the Federal Asian Pacific American Council's (FAPAC) annual conference held in the nation's capital.
Contacted Hawaiian Airlines to Express Disappointment for Increases in Fares
Contacted the President and Chief Operating Officer of Hawaiian Airlines to express disappointment of Hawaiian Airlines decision to increase fares for flights to and from American Samoa.
Condemned Terrorist Attacks Against the United States and its Citizens
Joined with Members of Congress to condemn the terrorist attacks against the United States and its citizens. Also expressed absolute support for President Bush and called upon all leaders of the world to coordinate an international response to terrorism.
Supported President's Proposed Policy on Iraq and Joined with Colleagues from House Committee on International Relations in Managing Historic War Resolution on House Floor
Supported President Bush's proposed policy on Iraq and, as senior member of the House International Relations Committee, joined with colleagues in managing historic War Resolution on House floor. The War Resolution authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq and has been passed in both the House and Senate.
Obtained $20 Million for Construction of New U.S. Army Reserve Center in American Samoa
Worked with Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate to obtain $20 million in funding for the construction of a new U.S. Army Reserve Center in American Samoa.
Obtained $1 Million in Additional Funding for U.S. Army Reserve Lease
Worked with the Department of the Army and the Federal Aviation Administration to get fair market value for U.S. Army Reserve land lease. Obtained additional $1 million for lease of land, although the American Samoa Government originally agreed to lease the land for one dollar a year, or $55 U.S. dollars.
Obtained $7 Million USDA Loan Guarantee for Construction of New Hotel in American Samoa
Worked with the USDA to provide a government-backed loan guarantee for the construction of new hotel in American Samoa. Also worked to secure off-island lender willing to finance construction. Was successful in getting the USDA to waive certain requirements and guarantee the loan at a rate that made it affordable and possible for the private owners to construct the hotel.
Saved Over $13 Million of American Samoa's Funding for FY 2002
In July 2002, Congressman Issa (R-CA) introduced an amendment to stop payment of more than $13 million to ASG for failure to settle a debt owed to a constituent in his district. Worked with Republicans and Democrats to successfully oppose Congressman Issa's amendment. Saved over $13 million of American Samoa's funding for FY 2002. Had Congressman Issa been successful in his effort, American Samoa would have lost critically needed funds for health care, education, and capital improvement projects.
Successfully Opposed the Andean Trade Agreement and Protected American Samoa's Economy Which is More Than 85% Dependent on the Canned Tuna Industry
Successfully opposed the Andean trade agreement and united Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate to protect American Samoa's economy which is more than 85% dependent on the canned tuna industry. Also worked with Chicken of the Sea International/Samoa Packing, Bumble Bee, and the U.S. tuna boat owners to make sure that the Andean countries were not granted the same duty-free trade privileges as the U.S. Territory of American Samoa.
Successfully Opposed the Andean Trade Agreement and Protected the Jobs of More than 1,000 Workers at Samoa Packing
Successfully opposed the Andean Trade and protected the jobs of more than 1,000 workers at Samoa Packing who would now be without work if Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia had been allowed to send canned tuna to the U.S. duty-free.
Successfully Opposed the Andean Trade Agreement and Protected the U.S. Tuna Boat Owners Who Contribute More Than $23 Million Per Year to American Samoa's Economy
Successfully opposed the Andean Trade Agreement and protected the U.S. tuna boat owners who contribute more than $23 million per year to American Samoa's economy. If the Andean countries had been granted the same trade privileges as American Samoa, the U.S. tuna boat owners would have been forced out of business and American Samoa would have lost more than $23 million per year in revenues.
Only Member of Congress Ever Invited to Speak at the World Tuna Trade Conference
Was invited to speak at the 10th Annual World Tuna Trade Conference held in Malaysia in June of 2002. This is the first time a Member of Congress has ever been invited to speak at the World Tuna Trade Conference. This is also the first time in the Territory's history that American Samoa has ever been represented at this conference where leaders and corporate executives from around the world meet to discuss important challenges facing the global tuna industry.
Successfully Worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to Get More than $20 Million of Canned Tuna Packed in American Samoa Released from the Port of Los Angeles
Worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to get more than 600 containers valued at more than $20 million released from the Port of Los Angeles. The tuna was packed in American Samoa and was held by the FDA for bio-terrorism inspection.
Increased American Samoa's Food Stamping Funding to More than $5.6 Million Per YearWorked with U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Chairman of House Transportation Committee to Ensure that U.S. Nationals Can Be Hired as Federal Airport Security Screeners
Worked with Members of the House and Senate to increase funding for American Samoa's food stamp program. American Samoa will receive more than $5.6 million per year and the funding will also be indexed for inflation each year.
Worked with the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the Republican Chairman of the House Transportation Committee to ensure that U.S. Nationals can be hired as federal airport screeners. Also introduced legislation that served as a guide for the Secretary and the Chairman to address this issue in the technical amendments bill.
Kept American Samoa's Gas Stations Open When the Federal EPA Threatened to Shut Them Down for Underground Fuel Tank Violations
Worked with the EPA to keep American Samoa's gas stations open while bringing them into federal compliance as quickly as possible.
Saved American Samoa's Gas Stations Owners Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in USEPA Fines
Worked with the federal EPA to save American Samoa's gas station owners up to $11,000 per day in fines for underground fuel tank violations.
Introduced Legislation That Has Been Passed by House to Expand American Samoa's National Park
Introduced legislation to include portions of the villages of Sili and Olosega in the National Park of American Samoa. This bill passed the House in March and is expected to pass the Senate before the 107th Congress adjourns. When enacted into law, this legislation will provide additional funding from land rentals to the villages of Sili and Olosega.
Introduced Legislation That Has Been Passed by House to Exempt Interest on ASG Tax Bonds from Being Taxed
Introduced legislation to exempt interest on ASG bonds from being taxed by other states and territories. This legislation will make it more economical for ASG to borrow money for items such as new generators needed to meet increasing utility demands.
Obtained $270,000 for Upgrading and Improving Water System in Leone Village
Worked with the Office of Insular Affairs to obtain $270,000 for upgrading and improving the water system in Leone village.
Obtained More than $300,000 Worth of Troop Labor for Upgrading and Improving Water System in Leone Village
Worked with the U.S. Army Reserve 9th Regional Support Command to obtain more than $300,000 worth of troop labor to upgrade and improve the water system in Leone village.
Established Sea Grant Presence in American Samoa for the First Time in History of Territory
Worked with the National Sea Grant College Program and the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Director to establish a Sea Grant presence in American Samoa. For the first time in American Samoa's history, a Sea Grant specialist has been assigned to work full-time in American Samoa. Our specialist will teach courses at the American Samoa Community College and will also work in the community to develop fish, shrimp, coral and clam farms.
Obtained More than $50,000 for Ornamental Clam and Soft Coral Pilot Project
Worked with the National Sea Grant College Program and the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Director to obtain more than $50,000 for an ornamental clam and soft coral pilot project. Project money will also be used to hire ASCC students to assist in this effort.
Obtained Sea Grant Commitment to Assist American Samoa's Tilapia Farmers
Worked with the National Sea Grant Director and the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Director to bring full-time professor of marine biology to American Samoa to assist local tilapia farmers.
Obtained $400,000 Worth of Fire Trucks and Equipment for American Samoa
Worked with the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Interior to obtain 3 fire trucks valued at over $400,000 if purchased new. These fire trucks were to be placed in the outlying villages and at the Tafuna fire station.
Obtained $1 Million for New Airport Tower at Pago Pago International Airport
Worked with the FAA to obtain $1 million to construct new airport tower at Pago Pago International Airport.
Obtained $100,000 in Scholastic Books for Elementary Schools
Worked with Scholastic Inc., the nation's largest book publisher and distributor, to obtain more than 20,000 new elementary books at a value of more than $100,000. Also worked with StarKist to secure free shipment of the books.
Appointed Highest-Ranking Democratic Member of International Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific
Appointed highest-ranking Democratic member on the International Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific. This Committee gives American Samoa's warriors and their families a voice in foreign affairs, including the war against terrorism. This Committee also gives American Samoa a voice in regional issues affecting our political, social and economic interests.
Appointed to be Congressional Delegate to the 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Nominated by the Speaker of the House and appointed by the President to be a Congressional Delegate to the 56th Session of the U.N. General Assembly.
Successfully Removed Language from Legislation that Would Have Placed American Samoa's Immigration Authority Under Federal Control
In response to Daewoosa, Congressman George Miller introduced legislation to place American Samoa's immigration authority under federal control. The intent of Congressman Miller's legislation was to prevent another incident like Daewoosa from occurring on U.S. soil. Congressman Miller's legislation also called into question the Territory's ability to manage local immigration and labor issues. After six weeks of discussions, successfully worked with Congressman Miller to have this language removed. As a result, Territory was provided with an opportunity to review, address and resolve all matters pertaining to its immigration laws.
Put Pressure on the U.S. Department of Labor to Stop Daewoosa Leaks that Were Damaging to American Samoa's Interests
Put pressure on the U.S. Department of Labor to stop Daewoosa leaks that were damaging to American Samoa's interests.
Met with Ambassador of Vietnam to Discuss Fair and Expeditious Resolution of Daewoosa Crisis
In February of 2001, the Ambassador of Vietnam requested my assistance in resolving the problems relating to the Vietnamese workers in American Samoa. Informed Ambassador that our local leaders must also have a voice in determining what course of action should be taken. Invited Governor to participate in these historic discussions.
Interceded with the Taiwan Representative to the U.S. on Behalf of Chinese Fishermen Stranded in American Samoa
Interceded with the Taiwan representative to the U.S. on behalf of Chinese fishermen stranded in American Samoa without transportation to their home country. The fishermen also had not received wages but as a result of this intervention the fishermen received their pay and were flown home at no expense to the territory.
Protected U.S. Airspace Surrounding American Samoa
Worked with the FAA to protect the U.S. airspace surrounding American Samoa when air traffic control services shifted from Fiji to New Zealand.
Included a Section in the National Energy Bill to Study the Energy Needs of the Insular Areas
Worked with the Republican leadership and other members of the House Resources Committee to include a section in the national energy bill to study the energy needs of the U.S. insular areas.
Participated in the South Pacific Tuna Treaty Negotiations
Participated in the South Pacific Tuna Treaty Negotiations. This treaty, which was successfully negotiated, is the legal basis by which U.S. fishing boats may fish in foreign-controlled waters in the Pacific region. Tuna landed by U.S. vessels operating in the Treaty area has a landed value of more than $100 million per year and nearly all of the fish caught by U.S. boats operating in this area is off-loaded at our canneries in American Samoa.
Worked with Senator Inouye for the Successful Release of $2 Million Withheld from ASG in FY 1999
Worked with Senator Inouye and the Department of the Interior for the successful release of $2 million in critically needed funds, $900,000 of which was intended for school improvements in the Territory. The funds were withheld in FY 1999 for ASG's failure to repay hospital vendors in Hawaii. The funds were released in FY 2000.
Obtained Commitment from Chairman and Ranking Member of House Veterans Committee to Establish a VA Clinic in American Samoa
Although this project is still pending, both the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Veterans Committee have given me their assurances that they will support my request to establish a VA clinic in American Samoa to provide for the health care needs of our veterans.
Obtained $100,000 Commitment from Tripler Army Center to Construct Tele-medicine Clinic in American Samoa
Obtained $100,000 commitment from the Tripler Army Center to construct a tele-medicine clinic in American Samoa. LBJ has also been involved in these discussions and project is currently being negotiated.
Conducted Historical Congressional Survey to Find Out What American Samoa Has To Say About Its Future
For the first time in the history of the Territory, conducted a Congressional survey for purposes of giving the public a greater input in the affairs of our government. Survey results show that our people have very strong feelings about economic development, citizenship, immigration, federal court jurisdiction, and the voting rights of our men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Introduced Legislation to Protect the Voting Rights of American Samoa's Warriors
Introduced legislation to protect the voting rights of military men and women whose home of residence is American Samoa. More than 85% of those surveyed agree that American Samoa's warriors deserve the same rights and privileges as every other American serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. More than 85% agree that American Samoa's warriors deserve the right to vote in federal elections held in American Samoa.
Introduced Legislation to Adjust Federal Matching Rate for Medicaid and Increase Fiscal Ceiling
Introduced legislation to adjust the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) which is fixed at 50 percent and increase the federal fiscal ceiling to $10 million per year. Legislation is pending.
Working with U.S. Department of Transportation and the House Transportation Committee to Adjust Formula Used for Determining Federal Highway Funding for American Samoa
Working with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the House Transportation Committee to adjust the formula used for apportionment in determining Federal Highway funding for American Samoa. Matter is pending.
Co-Sponsored Legislation to Replace IRS Section 936
Co-sponsored legislation in July of 2001 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an appropriate and permanent tax structure for investments in the Possessions and Puerto Rico. This legislation would provide a replacement for IRS Section 936 and would encourage our canneries to continue doing business in American Samoa. Legislation is pending.
Co-Sponsored Legislation Which Requires All Federal Agencies to Waive Any Requirement for Local Matching Funds Up to $500,000
Co-sponsored legislation which requires all federal agencies to waive any requirement for local matching funds up to $500,000. For grants requiring matching funds, including in-kind contributions, of more than $500,000, $500,000 of the matching requirement shall be waived. This legislation passed the House in September 2002 and is pending in the Senate.
Co-Sponsored Legislation to Amend the Circulating Quarter
Dollar Coin Program to Include American Samoa, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands
Co-sponsored legislation that would amend the popular 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act to include 6 new designs, including one which will acknowledge and honor American Samoa's long and proud commitment to the United States.
This legislation passed the House in October 2002 and is expected to pass the Senate before the 107th Congress adjourns.
Invited by Former President Jimmy Carter to Officially Observe and Monitor Election in East Timor
Invited by former President Jimmy Carter to officially observe and monitor national election held in East Timor. East Timor has been seeking independence from Indonesia for more than 26 years.
Invited by the United Nations Special Committee of 24 to Participate in Decolonization Seminar
Invited by the United Nations Special Committee of 24 to participate in decolonization seminar held in Cuba in May of 2001. Informed the UN in no uncertain terms that American Samoa supports the United States and took issue with the UN for referring to the U.S. territories as colonies. Governor, President of Senate, and Speaker of House also participated in these discussions and also spoke in support of the territory's current political status with the United States.
Nominated First American Samoan to Serve as Commissioner on President's Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific Islanders
Nominated Ms. Jacinta Folasa Titialii, the first American Samoan to serve as a Commissioner on the President's Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific Islanders. Ms. Titialii also served as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for the second largest investor-owned health care management company in the United States.
Secured Funding for ASG at or above the Amount in President's Budget for Every Year Since 1989
Succeeded in obtaining an Interior Department appropriation for American Samoa which is at or above the amount in the President's budget for every year since 1989. American Samoa is the only U.S. State or Territory to receive this appropriation for operations of its government.
Included Amendment to Provide $18.6 Million to Pay Down ASG Debt from Proceeds of Tobacco Lawsuit
Included amendment in FY2000 Interior appropriations bill to provide for an $18.6 million loan to ASG. The loan is to be used to pay down ASG's debts and restructure government operations so that ASG can operate on a balanced budget. The loan is to be paid back from the proceeds of the 46-state tobacco lawsuit settlement.
Obtained Over $47 Million to Build and Improve Roads in American Samoa
Worked with House Committee on Transportation to appropriate in excess of $47 million over 10 years to build and improve public roads in Tutuila, Aunu'u, and Manu'a, with specific earmarked funding for village and school roads.
Worked to Implement Law Authorizing Free Medical Flights for American Samoa Veterans
Worked with the Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs to implement federal law authorizing free military flights from American Samoa to Hawaii for veterans in need of VA medical treatment. American Samoa was the only U.S. State or Territory to receive this benefit.
Introduced Legislation Honoring American Samoa's 100-Year Relationship with the U.S.
Introduced legislation honoring American Samoa's 100-year relationship with the United States. Resolution was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 23, 2000.
Worked with the U.S. Postal Service to Issue Stamp Honoring American Samoa Centennial
Worked with the U.S. Postal Service to issue postage stamp commemorating the centennial of the first raising of the U.A. flag in American Samoa.
Protected American Samoa's Labor and Customs Interests
Worked with U.S. Customs and the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure that American Samoa's customs and labor interests are protected. Called for an immediate investigation of Mid-Pasefika and Daewoosa for violations of federal and local laws.
Worked to Establish American Samoa Economic Development Commission
Worked to establish the American Samoa Economic Development Commission for purposes of developing a blueprint to diversify American Samoa's economy.
Obtained Multi-Million Dollar Commitment to Remove Abandoned Fishing Vessels from Local Reefs
Worked with Senator Daniel Inouye, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and other federal agencies to obtain multi-million dollar federal commitment to remove abandoned fishing vessels from local reefs.
Obtained for $11 Million Samoan Community Center in Kuhio Park Terrace
Worked with Senator Inouye to obtain funding for the establishment of a community center for Samoans living in Hawaii.
Obtained More than $37 Million for American Samoa Food Stamp Program
Worked with other Members of Congress and U.S. Senators to enact into law a $37 million food stamp program for American Samoa.
Organized Congressional Opposition to French Nuclear Testing in the South Pacific
Led U.S. House protest against French Nuclear Testing in the South Pacific. Also worked with American Samoa Government and Western Samoa Prime Minister to send a clear message to French President Jacques Chirac that further testing would not be tolerated. Consequently, the French government scaled back the number of planned tests and agreed to sign the Nuclear Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Appointed Highest-Ranking Member of Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
Appointed by the Democratic Members of the House Committee on Resources to be the highest-ranking Democratic Member of the Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
Elected Highest-Ranking Member of Native American & Insular Affairs Subcommittee
Appointed by the Democratic Members of the House Committee on Resources to be the highest-ranking Democratic Member of the Subcommittee on Native American and Insular Affairs.
Worked to Improve the Safety and Health Conditions for Workers at StarKist Tuna Cannery
Worked with H.J. Heinz and OSHA to improve safety and health conditions for workers at the StarKist tuna cannery.
Spearheaded U.S. Support of South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty
Led Congressional efforts urging U.S. government accession to South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty.
Appointed to Represent U.S. Congress at South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Signing Ceremonies
Appointed to represent the U.S. Congress at the signing of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) treaty after successfully lobbying for the U.S. to accede to the treaty protocols.
Received Prestigious MPN Award for Efforts to End Nuclear Testing
Received award from the Military Production Network (MPN), an umbrella organization of 40 antinuclear groups including Greenpeace, Nuclear Control Institute and the Physicians for Social Responsibility, honoring efforts to end nuclear testing in the Pacific while enhancing nuclear non-proliferation efforts globally. The only other Members of Congress honored with MPN awards were two senators working on strategic nuclear arms reduction with Russia.
Worked to Normalize Relations between U.S. and New Zealand
Worked with the House Asia-Pacific Subcommittee to normalize relations between United States and New Zealand and helped arrange first meeting in 10 years between U.S. President and New Zealand Prime Minister.
Stopped Efforts to Eliminate the Possessions Tax Credit
Successfully lobbied to stop efforts to immediately eliminate the Possessions Tax Credit (IRS Sec. 936) as an incentive for businesses in the territories. Both tuna canneries take advantage of this credit, and their continued operation in American Samoa hinges on this tax credit.
Ensured that U.S. Nationals are Granted Visa-Free Entry into Canada
Worked with the Canadian government to ensure that U.S. Nationals with passports are granted visa-free entry into Canada, the same as U.S. citizens.
Worked to Allow Territories to Collect Fees from Foreign Fishing Vessels
Worked with Congressman Robert Underwood on legislation which allows the Pacific territories to collect fees from foreign vessels fishing in our EEZs.
Worked to Extend Direct Home Loans to American Samoa's Veterans
Worked with Senator Daniel Akaka and Congressman Lane Evans to pass federal law which provides American Samoa's veterans with direct home loans up to $80,000 per veteran.
Obtained $830,000 to Improve U.S. Weather Station in American Samoa
Obtained $830,000 in special funds over several years to improve U.S. Weather Station in American Samoa.
Successfully Fought to Increase Medicaid Funding for American Samoa
Successfully fought to increase American Samoa's Medicaid funding level from $1.4 million to over $2 million annually.
Worked to Establish WIC Program in American Samoa
Initiated negotiations with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and worked with ASG to begin a special food program for women, infants, and children (WIC) in American Samoa. American Samoa has received more than $28 million in WIC funding from 1996-2001.
Obtained $5 Million to Renovate and Construct Harbor Facility in Manu'a
Worked with Senator Daniel Inouye to obtain $5 million to renovate and construct the Ta'u, Ofu, and Faleasao harbor facilities in Manu'a.
Obtained $1.5 million to Improve the Water System for Fagaitua High School
Obtained $1.5 million from Congress to improve the water system for Fagaitua High School and surrounding villages.
Obtained Additional Appropriations to Build High School Gymnasiums in American Samoa
Secured additional appropriations from Congress to build gymnasiums at Leone, Tafuna, Fagaitua, and Manu'a High Schools.
Obtained $2 Million for Purchase of the Manu'a Tele III
Worked with Senator Inouye to obtain $2 million in funding for the purchase of the Manu'a Tele IIII, a vessel used to transport passengers and cargo between Manu'a and Tutuila.
Succeeded in Reinstating $1.3 Million for Agricultural Development
Succeeded in reinstating $1.3 million for agricultural development in the American Pacific Program.
Worked with Governor Lutali to Obtain $1.1 Million to Construct New Library in American Samoa
Worked with Governor Lutali to obtain $1.1 million to construct new library for American Samoa.
Successfully Lobbied to Keep U.S. Army Recruiting Station in American Samoa
Despite military cutbacks, worked with the U.S. Department of Defense to keep U.S. Army recruiting station in American Samoa.
Successfully Lobbied to Keep U.S. Embassy in Western Samoa
In the face of cutbacks, worked with Congress and the Department of State to maintain U.S. embassy in Western Samoa. In FY 94 and 96, the State Department slated over 40 U.S. embassies and consulates for closure. Embassy Apia was one of only three to be exempted.
Authored Legislation Banning Drift Net Fishing in the South Pacific
Authored legislation, adopted by Congress, banning the ecologically destructive practice of drift-net fishing in the South Pacific.
Initiated Congressional Visits to Pacific Island Nations
Worked with Members of Congress to initiate Congressional visit to Pacific nations which resulted in a comprehensive review and report on the need for the U.S. to improve its foreign policy towards the Pacific region.
Worked to Increase Benefits for Active Duty Military, Reservists, and Retired Personnel
Helped pass bill to increase death benefits and expand health and educational benefits for active duty, reservists, and retired military personnel.
Worked with U.S. Army to Establish Second Army Reserve Company in American Samoa
Worked with U.S. Army General William Ward to establish second Army Reserve company in American Samoa.
Reinstated $4 Million Per Year for American Samoa's JTPA Program
For FY 92 and 93, reinstated $4 million per year for American Samoa's JTPA program.
Successfully Opposed Caribbean Basin Initiative
Successfully opposed a proposal to extend duty-free treatment of canned tuna from Caribbean countries.
Obtained $3 Million in Job Training Funds for American Samoans living in HI, CA, and WA
Worked with Senator Daniel Inouye to obtain passage of bill providing $3 million in job training funds for American Samoans living in Hawaii, California, and Washington.
Obtained Additional $5 Million for Elementary and Secondary Education in American Samoa
Obtained additional $5 million for American Samoa under the FY 95 reauthorization bill for elementary and secondary education.
Reactivated Military Academy Nominations and Scholarships for American Samoa
Reactivated military academy nominations and scholarships for qualified American Samoan students. Each 4-year scholarship is worth over $200,000.
Initiated Legislation Stressing the Importance of the South Pacific Region
Initiated legislation, passed by Congress, stressing the importance of the South Pacific region and urging the U.S. to stay actively engaged with the Pacific Island nations.
Worked to Repeal the New Zealand Immigration Law
In a joint effort with the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, succeeded in repealing a New Zealand immigration law requiring visas of American Samoan U.S. Nationals entering New Zealand.