Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has requested that the U.S. House Committee on Resources conduct a hearing on H.R. 4182, a bill the Congressman introduced to remove the restriction that amendments of, or modifications to, the American Samoa constitution may be made only by an act of Congress.
In letters to Resources Committee leadership requesting this hearing, Faleomavaega expressed his belief that passage of H.R. 4182 is vital to American Samoa’s continued political development, and that the “legislation would allow more local control over the governing process in American Samoa.”
“Between 1929 and 1984, we made significant progress – we had constitutional conventions, developed a constitution of our own, and developed local control over our own political, economic and cultural issues,” Faleomavaega said. “Since the law H.R. 4182 is designed to repeal was enacted in 1984, requiring Congressional oversight of the process, to the best of my knowledge there have been no modifications or amendments to the American Samoa constitution.”
In letters to the Governor and Senate and House leadership, informing them of his request, Faleomavaega emphasized the importance of their input in shaping the final form of any legislation that might result from the Committee hearings and expressed his hope that they would be able to participate in the hearings.
“I realize that we may have differing viewpoints on this legislation. Through this hearing, however, with the input of our Governor and our legislative leaders, Congress should be able to arrive at legislation that best serves the needs of our people in American Samoa,” Faleomavaega added.
“I would also encourage the public to contribute to this dialogue by writing to my office with your perspective. Copies of the bill are available in my office to assist anyone who would like to provide input on this issue. I truly believe that our best solution will be reached by including as many viewpoints as possible in our discussions,” Faleomavaega concluded.