San Nicolas: Be prudent with Fed windfall because this may be the last

Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

Congressman Michael San Nicolas warned Adelup and the people of Guam to be “prudent” with the windfall in federal American Recovery Plan money that they will be getting because this may be the last.

In a news conference Monday, San Nicolas said Guam and the United States are different in that while Guam’s economy is still struggling with the effects of COVID-19, the U.S. economy is now in full recovery mode and may even boom in the coming months.

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“Lately, we’ve been seeing some very positive data coming out of the US economy, the jobs numbers have been really picking up. Jobless numbers have been drastically reduced. The real estate markets and the capital markets in the US are also red hot,” San Nicolas said.

This, plus the current mood in Congress, may mean that no more COVID relief or stimulus funds may be coming out of the feds when the current one expires in September.

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“We really need to handle the resources that we’re getting in a very, very prudent manner because I do not want our people to go through a rough patch in the event that we do not have another relief package coming through. And it’s very, very important for us to be mindful of this because the United States is going to be moving forward, looking at things from a big picture, and our circumstances on Guam are likely going to be different as things continue to improve in the mainland United States,” the Congressman said.

He added that when the federal assistance sunsets in September and the island is still not in full recovery mode, Guam is going to have a very serious economic problem with resources drying up federally and the local economy unable to pick up the slack.

“I don’t want to put a chilling effect on our local spending and I do want to encourage our people to continue to be a resource for our economy, that’s very very important. But I do want everybody to be mindful that we not go out and do a lot of luxury purchases or do a lot of ‘feel-good’ buying with money that’s coming in because the likelihood of that cash flow continuing gets smaller and smaller as the nation overall continues on the road to recovery,” San Nicolas said.