Governor criticizes San Nicolas address; Moylan praises it

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero (file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has reacted negatively to the congressional address delivered yesterday by Guam Delegate Michael San Nicolas who called for the repeal of the local war claims bill recently signed into law by the governor.

“We will not ask any survivor to wait one more day than necessary. The federal reassignment of claims process is already part of federal law. That is the process by which we will be repaid. Whatever influence Guam may have in Washington D.C., we hope it will be used to help this process, not hurt it,” the governor said.

“No one should pit Chamorro Land Trust recipients against the manåmko’. We are all better than that,” the governor added, in response to the congressman’s suggestion that local war claims money could be put to better use in the Chamorro Land Trust.

The governor also implied that San Nicolas could make better use of his time attending to Guam’s other problems that need federal attention.

“With so many of Guam’s sons and daughters deployed to a region of the world in the midst of escalating conflict with Iran, we hoped for an update on how this conflict might impact them, their families, and loved ones. Guam did not get that,” the governor said.

She added: “Beyond the back and forth of politics, we still need Medicaid coverage for our Micronesian brothers and sisters and fairer treatment in the way Medicaid reimbursement rates are calculated compared to other places in the country. We did not hear how he plans to fight for a permanent solution for the people of Guam.”

On the other side of the aisle, Republican senator James Moylan praised the Guam Delegate’s congressional address.

“I appreciate the efforts of Congressman Michael San Nicolas in delivering his Congressional Address to the people of Guam, and presenting the work of his office in the nation’s capital as well as of his district office here on island. We commend the Congressman for outlining and updating us on a number of important issues critical to our island, including the work being afforded for our veterans, the discussions on the COFA, and the status of Guam’s participation with the SSI,” Moylan said.

The senator was particularly interested in economic initiatives outlined by San Nicolas that would benefit Guam.

“The Congressman’s efforts to establish an Office of Territorial Exporting would work effectively with our Bill 218-35, which intends on attracting a Processing Trade and Fulfillment Center industries on Guam. These efforts would create new jobs, add to our tax revenue and supplement the lowering of the shipping costs by allowing containers leaving our island are not empty. Likewise, we commend the Congressman for recognizing the importance of passing our Bill 103-35, which provides an administrative structure to a law drafted by the Congressman when he was a Senator in the 34th Guam Legislature, and the measure intends to generate new revenue for Guam through the repatriation of profits from foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations,” Moylan said.

He added: “We look forward to working with the Congressman and his office on these issues, as well as on the potential for the EB5 and other measures that would help infuse economic opportunities for our island. The Congressman expressed a statement that I firmly stand on, and that is when it comes to the work for our people, partisan politics must be put aside. With that in mind, there is much more work ahead of us, and we look forward to working with all parties, both locally and nationally.”

San Nicolas, in his congressional address, praised the Republican Party of Guam for its help in lobbying for the passage of H.R. 1365 in the House of Representatives.