Moylan again calls for closure of Washington DC liaison office; says it’s non-essential

Senator James Moylan (PNC file photo)

Senator James Moylan has asked Adelup for a status report on the Guam Liaison Office located in Washington D.C.

Specifically, Moylan would like to know if the funds to maintain the Guam Liaison Office in Washington D.C. is obtained from the budget appropriated to the Office of the Governor.

“What were the total costs to maintain this office in Fiscal Year 2019 and 2020, and how much is being appropriated for Fiscal Year 2021 for the Guam Liaison Office in
Washington D.C.? How many staff are under the payroll of the Guam Liaison Office in Washington D.C.?” Moylan asked in a March 3 letter to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.

Considering the global situation in 2020, Moylan is also asking what tasks were assigned to the Guam Liaison Office in Washington D.C. in 2020 (and 2021), and more importantly, what results did the island benefit from maintaining this office?

“From our understanding, every federal dollar associated with the COVID 19 relief efforts, which the island benefitted in 2020 (and is currently in discussion for 2021) were availed by the efforts of U.S. Congress and President Trump and now President Biden (presently in talks). While we are aware that Guam’s Congressman, Michael San Nicolas, played a vital role in these discussions, the role of the Guam Liaison Office in Washington D.C. has seemed to be rather inconsequential throughout this pandemic,” Moylan said.

He added: “We introduced Bill 19-36 at the start of this term, and the measure proposes to eliminate the Guam Liaison Office, as the objective of the proposal is purely a cost-savings measure. The answers to our questions would be vital in determining how to move the legislation forward. Approximately 30,000 island residents were and continue to be displaced due to the global crisis, thus it would be
irresponsible for our government to continue to maintain non-essential offices at taxpayer expenses. From our understanding, the Washington D.C. office is non-essential,” Moylan said.