San Nicolas, governor butt heads again over EITC

Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas said these critical federal resources which comprise nearly 50% of the entire local appropriation for education will markedly improve Guam's readiness for students, faculty, staff, and administrators to restart face-to-face learning and work to fill any gaps in virtual learning, (PNC file photo)

Congressman Michael San Nicolas has sent a letter to Governor Leon Guerrero, providing an update on the potential for EITC reimbursements to Guam.

According to San Nicolas, he has secured the inclusion of such language into the HEROES Act to have such reimbursements up to 75% of the full amount and this language was fully supported by the leadership of the Committee on Ways and Means and was adopted without objections by the Democratic Majority.

The congressman said this is a good sign that it has proper traction for consideration.

“I am unsure how your request to the Administration in your recent letters to ‘do better’ than the Congress and reimburse at a 100% rate will bode for the effort, however, as the insinuation of such language invites adverse reactions from those members, committees, and senior staff who worked hard to get consensus for a breakthrough 75% reimbursement rate,” San Nicolas said.

He added: “For something of such magnitude as federal EITC reimbursement, already challenging with the intent to pay it locally in Public Law 23-74, local pushback against a 75% federal reimbursement for a 100% reimbursement could be self-defeating.”

San Nicolas said he will continue to press for what has been achieved so far, and hope that Guam can convey a clear message that any EITC reimbursement would be an improvement from current circumstances.

‘Do more’

In response to the congressman’s letter, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said San Nicolas should “do more.”

“As always, we appreciate any forward movement on EITC because it represents a $60 million cost to our community that is otherwise funded by the federal government nearly everywhere else in the country. But without Senate agreement on this language, the work is only half done and we are still left with the tab,” the governor said.

She added: “I expect our Representative to Congress to aggressively pursue EITC reimbursement at 100%. His job is to fully work for our interest. I expect our Representative to Congress to lobby passionately for equal treatment of the territories in both houses. I expect our Congressman to do more.”