|June 27, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—FALEOMAVAEGA TO NOMINATE A CONGRESSIONAL PAGE|
| Congressman Faleomavaega
announced today that as a senior Member of Congress he has been selected
to nominate a Congressional Page for the Fall 2002-Spring 2003 session
of the U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Page Program.
“This is the first time in the Territory’s history that a student from American Samoa may be given the opportunity to participate in this historic program,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “For more than 150 years, messengers known as pages have served in the United States Congress. Currently, approximately 100 young men and women from across the nation serve as pages at any given time. Pages must be at least 16 years of age and academic standing is among the most important criteria used in the final selection of pages.”
“Several incumbent and former Members of Congress as well as other prominent Americans have been congressional pages. The first House pages were appointed in 1842. Women were first appointed as pages in 1971,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
Pages serve as messengers and carry documents to the House and Senate, Members’ offices, and Committees. They also prepare the House chamber for business each day. When Congress is in session, pages sit near the dais where they may be asked to assist Members.
House pages are paid $16,136 per year. Automatic deductions are taken from their salaries for federal and state taxes, Social Security, and a residence hall fee of $400 which includes five breakfasts and seven dinners per week. The pages are required to live in the supervised House Page Dormitory near the Capitol. They are responsible for the cost of their uniforms and transportation to and from Washington, D.C.
During the school year, they are educated in the House Page School. The page school, which is accredited, offers a junior-year high-school curriculum, college preparatory courses, and extracurricular and weekend activities. Classes are held five days a week and begin at 6:45 am.
“There are only 72 Page positions in the U.S. House of Representatives. There are also 440 Members of Congress” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Although every Member of Congress wants to nominate a page, this is not possible due to the limited number of page positions.”
“This is why pages are appointed on a rotating basis based on criteria set by the House and Senate leadership which determines which Members are eligible to sponsor a page. The Honorable Richard Gephardt, top Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, informed me on June 21, 2002 that based on my years of service my office is now eligible to nominate a Congressional page,” Faleomavaega said.
“That a student from American Samoa may now be given the opportunity to be a part of this elite group is a credit to our people. Together we have built seniority and strengthened American Samoa’s position in Congress. Together we are making a difference and I am pleased that the Democratic House Leadership also recognizes and supports our efforts,” the Congressman concluded.
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