Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that on Saturday October 16, 2004 President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 982, a bill he introduced to improve the local economy by providing the American Samoa Government with the authority to issue bonds exempt from state and federal taxation.
“At this time, I want to thank President Bush for fully supporting my bill and I also want to thank my Republican and Democratic friends in the House and Senate for their support,” the Congressman said. “Once again, in Congress, it’s not about who’s in the majority or minority. In Congress, it takes Democrats and Republicans and enough seniority to get the job done. It also takes your support and prayers.”
“Put another way, there are 440 Members of Congress. About 227 are Republicans and about 210 are Democrats but the November elections could change these numbers. After the elections, there could be more Republicans or more Democrats. Either way, it is in our best interest to work with every Member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives. For anyone to suggest otherwise, or to imply that we should not work with hundreds of Members of the U.S. Congress just because they don’t belong to a certain political party, is ludicrous.”
“For example, in the case of H.R. 982 and also in the case of H.R. 2010, a bill I introduced to protect the voting rights of our military men and women, I worked with both political parties to get the job done for American Samoa,” Faleomavaega said. “As a result, not one Republican or Democrat in the House or Senate objected to my bills and both were passed by unanimous consent. Furthermore, President Bush has now signed H.R. 982 into law and is expected to support and sign H.R. 2010 in the near future.”
“This just goes to show that you don’t have to be a member of a certain political party to get the job done,” the Congressman continued. “In fact, I believe what matters most is putting American Samoa first. First and foremost, I am Samoan. And being Samoan matters more to me than being a Republican or a Democrat. This is how I have always approached my work in Congress and this is why with your support and prayers we are making a difference for generations to come.”
“Once again, I thank my friends and colleagues in the House and Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, for supporting my efforts to make American Samoa stronger by unanimously passing H.R. 982. I also thank Jack Kachmarik, Special Assistant to the Governor, for working with my office on this important initiative.”
“H.R. 982 will amend the U.S. Code to allow interest earned from American Samoa bonds to be exempt from both state and local taxation. H.R. 982 will also make American Samoa bonds more attractive to investors and will save the American Samoa Government interest costs on municipal bonds it may issue. Simply put, this legislation is beneficial and critical to the needs of American Samoa and in due time will help us build and strengthen our local economy,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.