|May 8, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—FALEOMAVAEGA MEETS PRESIDENT BUSH AT WHITE HOUSE SIGNING|
| Congressman Faleomavaega
announced today that he was invited by President George W. Bush to attend
the signing of an executive order to re-establish the Interagency Group
on Insular Areas (IGIA). The ceremony was attended by more than 200
people and, as the most senior member of the Congressional Delegation on
Insular Areas, Congressman Faleomavaega stood right next to the President
during the signing of the Executive Order.
Only six others were invited to
stand by and be photographed with the President during
the signing including Congresswoman Donna Christensen, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Secretary of Interior, U.S. Secretary of Labor, and the Governor of Guam, Felix Camacho.
Prior to the signing of the Executive Order, Ambassador Sichuan Siv, Congresswoman Christensen, Congresswoman Bordallo, Governor Camacho, and Congressman Faleomavaega were escorted to the front row and President Bush then publicly acknowledged and personally welcomed each of them by name.
“I am deeply honored to have participated in this event and I am also pleased that the President has reestablished the Interagency Group on Insular Areas,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “As I announced earlier this week, Congresswoman Christensen, Congresswoman Bordallo and I wrote a letter to the President urging the President to reestablish the IGIA. The IGIA is a valuable forum to address insular issues and we are very appreciative of the President’s support on this issue.”
“This issue is not new. The IGIA began during the Clinton administration and expired when Clinton left office. With the signing of today’s executive order, President Bush has now reestablished the IGIA and during the ceremony he also included a proclamation in recognition of Asian Pacific Heritage month.”
“At this time, I want to thank my good friend Republican Senator Orrin Hatch for his assistance today. Traditionally, it has always been the practice of the White House to invite Members of Congress from the House and the Senate for the signing of the Asian Pacific Heritage Month proclamation. This year, due to an oversight, there was some confusion about the matter and at my request Senator Hatch brought this to the attention of the White House.”
“White House staff apologized for the confusion and immediately invited the Delegates to attend the signing to represent the insular areas,” the Congressman said. “The President also publicly thanked us for attending the ceremony which was held at the White House in the Old Executive Office Building. Although I wish many others in the audience could have also stood by the President as he signed this important Order, I am honored that he asked me to represent the people of American Samoa on this historic occasion and once again I commend President Bush for reestablishing the IGIA.”
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