Former Guam delegate Robert Underwood has reacted to a report concerning current Guam delegate Michael San Nicolas’ voting record in Congress.
Roll Call, an online publication that provides a legislative tracking service, reported that San Nicolas voted just 47 percent of the time he has been eligible through Oct. 23, and that overall, he’s missed 138 of 259 votes so far.
In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57, Underwood described that as a “horrible” record.
“That’s horrible. You’re usually supposed to vote at least 75 or 80 percent of the time,” Underwood said.
He added that a Guam delegate is in Congress not just to push Guam-specific issues but also to present Guam’s perspective on national issues.
More importantly, Underwood said that being on the House floor is a good opportunity to talk directly to fellow legislators and secure their support for various things instead of having to make formal appointments for meetings.
“You just go to the floor because you know they’re gonna be there. And if you’re not participating in the floor of the House, you are selling your agenda short and you’re selling short the agenda of the people of Guam,” Underwood said.
In response, San Nicolas said it’s really a trade-off because many of the most opportune meetings also occur during voting time because that’s when administration officials are not meeting with other members.
“It’s how we were able to leverage so much support and traction for war claims so quickly. Also, voting opportunities can be impacted when we travel back to Guam,” San Nicolas said in a statement sent to PNC.