June 15, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- FALEOMAVAEGA PRAISES TAUESE FOR REPAYMENT PLAN
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he fully supports Governor Tauese's efforts to establish a plan to repay the outstanding obligations owed by the American Samoa Government to third-party vendors, especially to off-island hospitals.
"I am very happy that the Governor has decided to take this step and establish a repayment plan," said Faleomavaega. "Rather than try to deny responsibility or hide the problem under the table, the Governor has chosen to attack the problem head on. Decisive action of this nature is very difficult to take but demonstrates true leadership."
It has been reported that the American Samoa Government owes $16 million to various businesses and government agencies for debts incurred over the past several years. "This debt has been accumulating during the previous two administrations, and I am pleased to see that the Governor is acknowledging this as a responsibility of the government and is taking steps to reduce this debt in a systematic manner," said the Congressman.
In response to Senator Inouye's request for action on the part of ASG, Faleomavaega said, "It is my understanding that all Senator Inouye wanted at this stage was the establishment of a repayment plan and a structured off-island referral plan, and I intend to meet with the Senator later this week to discuss ASG's prompt response to his request. If ASG continues along these lines, I believe that we have a good chance of removing any restrictions which may initially be placed on part of ASG's CIP funding by the Senate Appropriations Committee."
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior is scheduled to vote on the House Interior Appropriations bill on Wednesday this week. The Senate Subcommittee has not scheduled its vote on the legislation.