San Nicolas: Objection raised to H.R. 1365 following enactment of local war claims bill

Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas issued a statement to the media today advising that the “previous unanimous support in the Senate” for his war claims corrections bill H.R. 1365 “is now at risk.”

“I have received word that there is now a concern with H.R. 1365,” states San Nicolas in a WhatsApp post. He “urges the Legislature and the Governor” to “immediately reconsider their actions for the sake of the very people we are trying to help.”

San Nicolas said he is on a flight back to D.C. today “to try to salvage this.”

When asked by text who in the Senate had raised concerns about the local war reparations bill, San Nicolas responded by saying: “We don’t want to single anyone out, it may complicate things further.”

He issued a similar warning during his Congressional Address at the Guam Congress Building Monday telling lawmakers that the local war claims measure “is certain to fail.”

The congressman’s WhatsApp post comes five days after Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed the local war claims measure, Bill 181-35, into Public Law 35-61.

In his congressional address, San Nicolas called on lawmakers to repeal the law and join him in pushing for passage of H.R. 1365 which has not yet been acted upon by the U.S. Senate.

Speaker’s response

Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, who authored the local war claims bill signed into law by the Governor, issued a response to San Nicolas’ statement which reads, in part:

“To date, the only Member of Congress to complain about Bill 181 is Mike San Nicolas. If HR 1365 is now facing danger in the Senate, maybe it’s because he’s so loudly complained about the smoke, no one can tell that he started the fire.”

The Speaker also said she plans on heading to Washington D.C. and meeting with members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee where, she said, she “will advocate for the passage of HR 1365. Like the Spirit of the CHamoru People, we will be resilient and keep trying. We can sit here and waste time, but for our Saina’s, it’s a race against time.”

San Nicolas’ Response:

“Speaker please stay home. We are trying to contain the concern, your presence will only call more attention to something we are trying to address through appropriate channels. I will inform you if your assistance will be helpful.”