Congressman Faleomavaega announced that late this evening an extension for section 936 for American Samoa was included in the tax reconciliation bill. The provision provides for a one-year extension only rather than the ten years that Faleomavaega requested or the five years that the Department of the Interior recommended.
“In fairness to Chairman Thomas and Ranking Member Charlie Rangel of the Ways and Means Committee, I would strongly suggest to our Samoan community that we ought not make any quick judgments until the whole legislative process is completed,” Faleomavaega said. “Late this evening, I was informed that many other tax proposals submitted by other Members of Congress were not included in this tax bill. Furthermore, I was also informed that most provisions that were included were only extended for one-year.”
“As I mentioned earlier, the bill has now been introduced in the House and, as such, the Rules Committee will need to make a determination whether or not amendments can be introduced on the House Floor. If the Rules Committee allows amendments, I intend to introduce an amendment accordingly. If the Rules Committees does not allow for amendments, then the House will vote whether or not to approve the bill as is.”
“Once the bill is passed, it will then go to the Senate for its consideration. However, the Senate also has its own tax reconciliation bill which is different than the House version. As a result, the leaders of the House and Senate will have to appoint a conference committee composed most likely of Members of the Senate Finance and the House Ways and Means Committees.”
“For the past several months I have consulted with the appropriate Members and staff of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senators Inouye and Akaka have been most helpful in working closely with me. At this time, the Senate has not yet finalized what it will include in its version of the tax reconciliation bill but we are working to include the extension for section 936.”
“It is expected that Congress will be in session until the latter part of December and I will continue to keep our people informed on the developments associated with this important legislation,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.