Governor Lou Leon Guerrero is in Washington DC for a series of meetings with administration officials and members of Congress.
The question is, will she meet with Guam’s own congressman Michael San Nicolas and will our delegate help coordinate and facilitate the governor’s meetings?
It is no secret that the governor and the congressman are not exactly the best of friends. The two have been having a “cold” war since they were elected into their respective offices in 2018.
They don’t exactly see eye to eye and they even had a famous “summit” in Adelup in 2019 to try to patch up things.
Their relationship improved last year — they were civil to each other but not really cordial.
Then this year, their relationship took a turn for the worse when the congressman seemingly lectured the governor to not politicize the American Rescue Plan Act funds and put it to good use, warning that this is a one-time opportunity that should not be wasted by the governor.
San Nicolas reiterated this point during his recent congressional address at the Guam Legislature after which the governor made it a point to leave quickly without shaking hands with the congressman as was the tradition in the past.
During her news conference before she went off-island, the governor was asked specifically whether she would meet with San Nicolas. She answered: “Our congressman is where we are going to be in the vicinity. I have not had a firm confirmation with him.”
When PNC reached out to San Nicolas and asked him whether he would be meeting with the governor, the congressman did not respond.
On Saturday, the Office of Insular Affairs released photos of the governor during a wreath-laying ceremony at the World War II Memorial in Washington in commemoration of Guam’s Liberation Day.
San Nicolas was noticeably not in the photos.
Moreover, the governor told NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo in a recent interview that the wreath-laying ceremony was arranged through Adelup’s Washington DC liaison Madeleine Z. Bordallo, and not with Congressman San Nicolas.
During the last few days, the congressman sent various releases pertaining to Washington developments that are relevant to Guam.
These include the expanded Medicaid for Guam and a planned USACE visit to Guam to give an update on the Guam Memorial Hospital and the new hospital.
But these are also the matters that the governor also said she would be taking care of in Washington prior to her leaving the island.
The governor had said she would be asking for grants from the federal government to help subsidize the new public hospital she is planning to build and that she would lobby for the passage of H.R. 4406, the measure that will extend increased Medicaid funding for Guam.
The governor’s news release was sent only a few hours after an earlier news release from San Nicolas about the same congressional bill, with neither the governor nor the congressman mentioning the other.
During her last news conference, the governor said she will be meeting with key White House officials, key Department of Defense officials, and key congressional officials.
“We have confirmed meetings with the Secretary of the Department of Interior, we have confirmed meetings with the director of the inter-governmental agency. We have firm meetings with the undersecretary of the Navy. I believe the Secretary of Defense will not be in DC, but we do have the undersecretary. We also have a firm meeting with the commander of the Marines, the head person. I’m trying to get … I think we also have a meeting with some of the members of the House and a couple of senators,” Leon Guerrero said.