Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that President Bush signed the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 which includes a two-year extension of 30A tax credits for American Samoa’s canneries. Earlier this month, the House overwhelming passed the bill by a vote of 367 to 45 and the Senate passed it by 79 to 9.
“Once more, I give all the credit and thanks to God for his guidance,” Faleomavaega said, “and I also appreciate the President’s support.” President Bush said, “We're going to continue to support wise policies that encourage and enhance the entrepreneurial spirit in America so this country of ours can remain the economic leader in the world.”
“For American Samoa, this means extending our tax credits so our tuna canneries can remain and invest in the Territory. To this day, thanks to the support of our friends in the House and Senate, American Samoa continues to be a leading supplier of canned tuna to the U.S. As a result of today’s historic signing, we will continue to remain competitive.”
“For this reason, I thank our tuna canneries for accepting the 30A compromise I offered as an alternative to section 936 tax credits. The benefits are almost identical, and now that 30A has been signed into law, I look forward to working with our canneries and local leaders and businesses to develop a long-term tax policy. I also continue to be hopeful that our local government will take a serious look at the report issued by the American Samoa Economic Development Commission and present to Congress a unified plan for economic development.”
“Most of all, I want to once again thank our friends in the House and Senate for their support in extending our tax credits. As I have always said, it takes both parties to get things done in Washington and this is why I have always put American Samoa first and worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation for the benefit of our people.”
“In the case of our tax extenders, Republican Chairman Thomas of the House Committee on Ways and Means was the right man at the right time to champion our cause. Democratic Ranking Member Charles Rangel of the Ways and Means Committee was also critical to our success. On the Senate side, I thank Republican Chairman Charles Grassley and Democratic Ranking Member Max Baucus of the Senate Finance Committee for their support and also Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. As always, Democratic Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka are loyal allies.”
“Above all, the people of American Samoa stood steadfast and I thank them for sticking with me as we worked together to protect our economy and the jobs of more than 5,000 cannery workers. I am thankful for your support and prayers and, during this holiday season, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” Faleomavaega concluded.