Guam GOP hits ‘subversive’ move by Democrats; Lee counters: ‘Reading is the key’

Senator Regine Biscoe-Lee, a Democrat, is chairperson of the Committee on Federal and Foreign Affairs. She says she hopes the next Congressman addresses Guam's relationship with the military, environmental issues and the island's political status. (PNC file photo)

The Republican Party of Guam has accused the Democratic majority in the Legislature of not providing equal access to all senators and rubber-stamping the budget bill process to make sure that Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero gets the budget that she wants.

In a statement, the Guam GOP said the Democratic Majority has once again proven that they represent Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and not the people of Guam.

“In a subversive political move today in budget discussions, Senator Regine Biscoe-Lee, a lame-duck senator who is using her final months to curry favor for Adelup, introduced an amendment that would block several Senators, mainly Republicans, from actively engaging in the Government of Guam’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget discussions. This would absolutely guarantee a rubber stamp process which would authorize the Governor to spend hard-earned taxpayer dollars as she so chooses,” the Republican Party stated.

According to the GOP, the amendment would mandate the following:

*Only members of the Committee can proffer amendments to the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Bill; and
*Amendments must have 6 co-sponsors to be considered.

“In summary, Senators Regine Biscoe-Lee, Amanda Shelton, Tina Muna-Barnes, Jose “Pedo” Terlaje, Kelly Marsh (Taitano), and Joe San Agustin have taken hostage of the budget process to assure that only their recommendations matter moving forward. This is not only a slap in the face of those Senators unable to equally participate, but is also a slap in the face to the people of Guam who entrusted Senators to promote check and balance between the legislative and executive branches of government. Instead, they unknowingly elected several rubber-stamping Senators,” the Republican Party stated.

The GOP added: “What is further concerning is that this very body adopted rules for this virtual discussion on the budget bill where no amendments will be voted on until they get back to session. If they can break their own rules for the sake of politics, the question is what other rules are they willing to break? The people of Guam should be highly concerned as today a Democratic Majority proved that politics trumps democracy.”

Senator responds

Sen. Regine Biscoe-Lee, however, characterized the GOP release as materially false.

“Reading is the key. It incorrectly concludes that only committee members can proffer amendments in the committee. As the Chairman, Sen. San Agustin made clear today, all Senators are able to proffer amendments in his committee, and all amendments not entertained at the committee level can be proffered during session.”