VIDEO: Congresswoman Bordallo’s Congressional Address: “A Renewal of Faith”

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Guam – Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo delivered her annual State of Congress address Thursday night at the Legislature touching on a wide range of issues effecting Guam’s relationship with the federal government and what she has been doing to address those issues.

READ Congresswoman Bordallo’s Congressional Address HERE

Congressional Address Highlights:

Defense:
“The security of our nation faces significant challenges ahead, and we must renew our commitment to the realignment of forces in the Pacific. As Guam becomes an even more important part of our Defense posture, we have made significant gains this past year in assuring a positive forward progress and relationship with our military community.

War Claims:
“As we pay tribute to the bravery of our servicemembers who lost their lives defending our freedom, we must never forget the incredible sacrifices and unwavering loyalty of our manamko’ who endured a brutal enemy occupation during World War II. Our federal government has a moral responsibility to resolve this longstanding injustice, and I continue to push for the passage of war claims for our manamko’. We renew our dedication to justice for our manamko’ and we renew the fight for war claims in the 113th Congress.

Compact-Impact:
“The fiscal realities in Washington have forced every member of Congress to reevaluate our strategies on policies that affect our districts, and perhaps no other pressing challenge for our community is as evident as the need to look for creative solutions to Compact-impact. The political dynamic over the past few years has shifted so dramatically that even our nation’s most important programs and policies—such as national defense and social safety net programs—have been subjected to deep cuts. The federal government simply does not have the money to support every obligation we have, and the tone in Washington is to cut spending at every level of government.

Health Care:
“In May of last year, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and cleared the way for this law to be fully implemented throughout the country. This landmark reform of our health care industry contained many important provisions for Guam, including the ability for young adults to continue to be covered by their parent’s insurance until they are 26; the removal of lifetime limits that an insurance provider will pay for care; the full coverage of many preventive services, such as annual physicals and mammograms; and the prohibition on insurance companies from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition or dropping coverage if a person becomes sick.”

Education:
“Sequestration forces us to renew our dedication to education. The Guam Department of Education, under the leadership of Superintendent Jon Fernandez, is doing a remarkable job of providing quality education under challenging circumstances. If we want our island’s next generation to succeed, we must renew our investment in their education and quality of learning.”

Chamorro Culture:
“In order for our island—our families and businesses—to move forward and thrive, we must once again renew our commitment to protect and promote our indigenous Chamorro culture and language. The federal government provides many grant opportunities for cultural and language preservation, and I commend the numerous non-profit organizations and government agencies for their efforts to utilize these opportunities. We must take advantage of every opportunity available to ensure that the current generation is not the last to pass on our native Chamorro language and culture.

Gambling:
“I call on our community to renew our commitment to fight outside interests who are looking for every which way to bring casino gambling to Guam through repeated ballot measures. These outside interests with their deep pockets have been rejected and rebuked 5 times by our people. I commit to working with our people and our local leaders to review the federal laws to determine if more can be done to protect our island against the relentless onslaught of those outside interests who will never stop until they wear us down and establish their casinos. They just don’t get that no means no. So tonight we say to these outside interests, “No and no more.”

Self-Determination:
“While we have covered many issues tonight, I want to end by re-addressing the first point that I raised in this speech because it is the most important point. Resolving our political status through a legitimate act of political self-determination will allow our people to determine for ourselves what is best for our island and our people. This decolonization process is perhaps the single most important long-term priority for our island, and we must renew our commitment to making this effort.