Congressman Faleomavaega announced that earlier today the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) met with President Obama to discuss a range of issues affecting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
The meeting took place in the Cabinet Room of the White House and marked the first official meeting between CAPAC and the President. The Caucus thanked the President for meeting with them, and brought up several points for discussion, including immigration reform, judicial nominations, health disparities, data disaggregation, ways to improve White House engagement with the AAPI community, and issues pertaining to the three U.S. territories in the Pacific: American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
According to a release from the White House, the President thanked the Caucus for all the hard work they do in Congress for the American people and the AAPI communities, and said that he looks forward to continuing to work with them. The President also noted that he was proud of his efforts to make the federal judiciary more diverse. Under President Obama, the number of AAPI federal judges has doubled.
The White House also stated that the President thanked the members for their support in passing the Affordable Care Act and for the steps they are taking to help eliminate the disparities that continue to exist in our health care system. The President pledged to continue working with Congress to create an immigration system that works, and noted that his Administration is working to ensure that the current system is streamlined, efficient and fair. The President and the Caucus also discussed the American Jobs Act. The Caucus also thanked the President for bringing attention to the American territories in the Pacific region.
President Obama was joined at the meeting by Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu, Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Muñoz, and Executive Director of the White House AAPI Initiative Kiran Ahuja.
The following CAPAC Executive Board Members were present at the meeting: Congresswoman Judy Chu, Chair (CA), Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, Vice Chair (Guam), Congressman Mike Honda , Chair Emeritus (CA), Congressman Hansen Clarke (MI), Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa), Congressman Al Green (TX), Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (HI), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA), and Congressman Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands).
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.
“I am pleased to have represented the people of American Samoa in this historic discussion. Our discussion was not only a significant advancement for the voice of the Caucus but also for the entire Asian and Pacific American community. I extend my thanks to President Obama for his leadership in support of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and I also thank him for taking the time to dialogue with CAPAC about our pressing concerns and recommendations,” Congressman Faleomavaega stated.
“As the fastest growing demographic in the nation, the specific needs of AAPIs in the States and the Territories, including American Samoa, must be considered in key administrative decisions affecting our nation, and I am confident that this meeting will serve as a constructive step forward in strengthening the White House’s engagement with our AAPI community,” Faleomavaega concluded.