Topics like social security, block grants, immigration policy, H2B visas, tax codes and other were discussed.
Guam – Local lawmakers had the opportunity to have their voices heard today during a meeting with a visiting CODEL or congressional delegation.
The CODEL was welcomed into the Guam Congress building to meet with several local senators. Led by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Congressman Rob Bishop, the delegation listened to concerns raised by local lawmakers. We spoke with some of the senators who were a part of this meeting.
“We talked about various topics. Senator [Fernando} Esteves was very adamant about making sure our flood zones get addressed here on island. We did bring up the topic of social security for our government workers and of course the questions about changes to the tax code, as well as making sure that the H2B visa issue was addressed and other federal items that were very informative not only for the congressional delegation but for the senators present,” said Sen. Michael San Nicolas.
While a CODEL is nothing new for Guam, this is the first CODEL visiting under a Trump Administration and under a climate much different from the Obama Administration.
“I asked if they had had any insight into the executive order that is in draft form and [CNMI Congressman Gregorio “Kilili” Sablan] said that he has actually seen it,” said Sen. Mary Torres.
“There is a sensitivity knowing what the full implications are for generations of migrants including those who are born as US Citizens,” she added. “We do have to have a nice messaging plan to ensure that there isn’t any negative fallout and that the good intent of the executive order is carried out and the bad fallout in terms of racism or that sort of thing is tempered a little, so we’ll be watching that closely.”
Meanwhile, Bishop said as the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, he will work to advance the issues raised by the territories. The CODEL has been visiting various territories to get a better sense of local issues.
‘We went through everything. We went through everything from EPA issues, cleanup sites, retirement systems, you have here worker visas, potential tax changes–it was really a high level broad discussion and it leads us some areas where now we wanna be able to come back and maybe talk to some people and some specifics,” said Bishop. “A lot of the things that we’re talking about here on Guam affect other parts of the Untied States, but there are some specific circumstances that can be a challenge but there also can be an opportunity and solutions to finding a progressive way of moving forward to it I think are there if we start looking differently and start trying to come up with some unique approaches to things.”
The CODEl was made up of:
1) Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT)
(Chairman, Natural Resource Committee, HASC)
2) Delegate Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)
(Ranking Member of Readiness Sub-committee for HASC, Natural Resources)
3) Delegate Amata Radewagen (R-AS)
(Chairman of Subcommittee on Health and Technology for Small Business, HVAC)
4) Delegate Gregorio Sablan (D-MP)
(Natural Resource Committee and Education and Workforce Committee)
5) Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez (R-PR)
(Natural Resource Committee)
6) REP Bruce Westerman (R-AR)
(Natural Resource, Budget, and Transportation and Infrastructure)
7) REP Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
(Chair, Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry for Agriculture; Natural Resource Committee and Education and Workforce Committee)
8) Mrs. Penny Ammerman-Thompson, Spouse of REP Thompson (R-PA)
11) Mr. Marc Alberts, PSM, Majority
12) Mr. Brian Modeste, PSM, Minority
13) Mr. Adam Stewart, LD, Committee on Natural Resources
14) Mr. Devin Wiser, Chief of Staff, REP Rob Bishop
15) CPT Mike Calcagni, Army Legislative Liaison
16) LTC Stephanie Sido, Army Legislative Liaison
17) SSG Jay Gilliam, Army Travel NCO
18) SSG Jeremiah Dycus, Army Travel NCO