Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that after consultations yesterday with President Gaoteote Palaie Tofau and Speaker Savali Talavou Ale, he will return home to attend the Joint Session of the Fono scheduled for next Monday, July 13.
“After speaking by telephone with President Gaoteote and Speaker Savali, I have determined that it is important for me to attend the Joint Session of the Fono next Monday,” Faleomavaega said.
“The Joint Session is important in that Governor Togiola will be presenting to the Fono and people of American Samoa the current status of important issues the American Samoa Government needs to address and resolve hopefully before the Fono adjourns sometime in September of this year.”
“I also hope there will be an opportunity to meet with Fono leaders and the Governor on matters important to both American Samoa and the Federal government. First and foremost, I hope there will be an opportunity to discuss the U.S. tuna fishing industry and its future in the territory.”
“While in American Samoa, I also plan to discuss with the public certain issues dealing with a petition, as reported recently in Samoa News, initiated by the Governor and members of the business community calling for a halt to the mandated minimum wage hikes, and a letter by Common Cause opposing the petition. Both petitions are now pending to be sent to President Obama.”
“Also, it is my understanding that our Senators have expressed an interest to discuss the citizenship bill and I will be happy to do this as well.”
“However, my first priority will continue to be to find real solutions for American Samoa’s tuna industry and our cannery workers and to call for cooperation to address the challenges we are facing as a result of the severe economic recession our nation is now confronted with.”
“As I suggested about two months ago, ASG needs to submit its application to the U.S. Department of Labor for a national emergency grant for retraining our workers. This grant program is available to give our cannery workers who are or will be laid off from their jobs as an option for training and seek a new type of employment,” Faleomavaega concluded.