August 2, 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ----- FALEOMAVAEGA COMMENDS GOVERNOR TAUESE FOR TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUNDING PROPOSAL
Congressman Faleomavaega today announced his appreciation to Governor Tauese with their offices working closely together to develop the proposed legislation now pending before Congress, which in effect will authorize ASG to obtain $18.6 million as an advancement from the U.S. Congress, in exchange for ASG's rights on the Tobacco Settlement Fund which the ASG stands to get a little over a million dollars per year for a twenty-six year period.
Faleomavaega noted in a follow-up letter to the Governor as to where Samoa stands with the pending legislation, and stated, "…as Congress is in the middle of its legislative process on the Interior Appropriations bill, and as the legislation will be enacted into law within the next two months, I ask that everyone allow this process to continue. After passage, I will return and explain the provisions of the bill…"
Faleomavaega further added, "I want to emphasize that the legislation we are working on in Congress will not force ASG to take any action…If ASG can obtain a better deal somewhere else, it can do so…I want to emphasize again that any current efforts to undermine our work in Washington will only result in one less option for our government…"
In commending Governor Tauese's involvement with the proposed bill, Faleomavaega noted, "Let me emphasize also that I would not have pursued this matter without your encouragement and endorsement of the idea, and I appreciate that very much. To your Administration's credit, this legislation would not have materialized without your support."
Faleomavaega is due to join Chairman Benjamin Gilman, House Committee on International Relations and eight other members of Congress next week in Taiwan, following his participation and presentation of a paper on the first internationally- sponsored conference on the Samoan language, sponsored by the American Samoa Humanities Council, ASCC, and PREL.
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