Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he was successful in his efforts to include $640,000 for the American Samoa Community College to improve its Trades, Industries and Technology program in the Labor, Health and Education Appropriations Act which was rolled into the Omnibus bill which passed the House and Senate on Saturday November 20, 2004. Final passage will occur in December after further provisions are considered.
“I am pleased that I was able to get this money for our students at ASCC, especially those interested in pursuing degrees in trade, industry and technology,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I have been working on this funding since May 2003 and submitted testimony to the appropriators outlining my requests.”
“Again, my Republican and Democratic friends supported my request and, as a result, ASCC will now be able to improve its Trades, Industries and Technology program. Previously, I was able to also get $500,000 for ASCC to install a new computer lab for our students.”
“While my critics would have you believe that only Republicans can get things done in Washington, nothing could be further from the truth. As I have always said, it takes more than one coconut to make coconut oil and, in Washington, it takes Democrats and Republicans to make a difference.”
“Furthermore, in a Republican-controlled House and Senate, I was able to once again secure over $33 million for ASG operations and capital improvement projects. American Samoa continues to be the only state or territory to receive funding to operate its local government and I am pleased that I have been able to keep this funding in place despite budget constraints and the increased costs to fight the war on terrorism,” Faleomavaega said.
“Also in a Republican-controlled House and Senate, I was able to get H.R. 2010 passed and signed into law. While my opponent continues to criticize President Bush for supporting this legislation, the truth is this legislation is good for our soldiers, good for our college students and good for American Samoa. And anyone who knows anything about this legislation knows that H.R. 2010 is not a plurality bill. It is a bill that includes both majority and plurality voting.”
“While my critics spend their days trying to mislead the people, I believe it is also important for me to speak out and make the record clear. In a Republican-controlled House and Senate, I was also able to get H.R. 982 passed and signed into law. This bill amends the U.S. Code to allow interest earned from American Samoa bonds to be exempt from both state and local taxation which in turn will help us diversify our economy.”
“Additionally, I introduced legislation to extend IRS 936 benefits for our canneries. Again, anyone who knows anything about legislation knows that you cannot introduce legislation nine years before a tax credit expires and hope to get it extended. That’s just not how the legislative process works and anyone with experience in Washington knows this. 936 benefits expire in January 2006 and I can assure the people that this issue is being properly addressed,” Faleomavaega said. “In fact, my work on this issue is a matter of record and is available for public review.”
“So is my work on Upward Bound, Inter-Island Airways and the airport security screening issue, all of which I resolved, despite reports to the contrary, and I would encourage people like Maggie Keane to review the facts before misleading our people on these very important issues. The elections are behind us now and American Samoa has once again made its choice. Although my opponent has run against me five times, for the ninth time, and for some 16 years, the people of American Samoa have placed their trust in me to be their voice in Washington, and I am grateful for their support.”
“While anyone can open an office, the bottom line is, like Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the other U.S. Territories, and even the District of Columbia, American Samoa only has one Representative in the United States Congress and Congress does not recognize those who are not duly-elected. It works the same in our local government. We only have one Governor and, no matter how many people open offices and claim to be the Governor, the only Governor our Fono recognizes is the one that was duly-elected by the people.”
“Again, I am grateful that for the ninth time our people have placed their trust in me. I am thankful for your support and prayers and I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. During this holiday season, as we gather with our loved ones and count our blessings, may we most of all remember our troops and pray for their safe return,” the Congressman concluded.