Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that on January 27, 2009 he was elected to serve a second term as the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment. Faleomavaega’s colleagues elected him by unanimous consent.
Re-elected in November, 2008 to serve an eleventh term in the U.S. Congress by the people of American Samoa, Faleomavaega is the longest serving and only Samoan in the U.S. Congress. He is also the first Member of the U.S. Congress from the Asia Pacific region to ever serve as Chair of the House Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, having first been elected to chair the subcommittee in the 110th Congress.
The Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment has broad oversight and jurisdiction over U.S. foreign policies affecting Australia, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macau Special Administrative Region), Cook Islands, East Timor, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, North Korea, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. The subcommittee also has jurisdiction over issues relating to the global environment, international fisheries agreements, and the law of the sea.
“I thank the people of American Samoa whose chairmanship this is,” Faleomavaega said. “I am honored to serve on their behalf and represent American Samoa’s interests in the Asia Pacific region. I also thank my colleagues on the Foreign Affairs Committee for their support. As one whose roots are from the region, I look forward to bringing a Pacific perspective to U.S. foreign policy affecting this part of the world, and to working closely with the Obama Administration and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to bring renewed commitment and attention to this vital region that has been overlooked for too long.”
“We have serious work to do as we begin the process of rebuilding America at home, and promoting U.S. interests abroad, but I am confident that change has come, and we will be successful in our efforts,” Faleomavaega concluded.