Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that on Wednesday September 29, 2004 the Senate passed H.R. 982, a bill he introduced to help develop American Samoa’s economy by providing the American Samoa Government with the authority to issue bonds exempt from state and federal taxation.
“Bonds encourage economic investment in the Territory and H.R. 982 will make American Samoa bonds more attractive to investors and will immediately save the American Samoa Government between $20,000 and $50,000 a year in interest costs on municipal bonds it may issue,” the Congressman said.
“Not long ago, the American Samoa Power Authority said that it would like to sell bonds to purchase new diesel generator sets to accommodate our growing population. This legislation would lower the interest costs of the prospective sales and will also enable the government to address deficiencies in its current infrastructure.”
“This legislation is identical to H.R. 1448 which I introduced in the 107th Congress. H.R. 1448 was adopted by the Judiciary and Resources Committees and was finally agreed to by voice vote on the House Floor on September 24, 2002. Unfortunately, the Senate was unable to consider this legislation before the 107th Congress came to a close.”
“However, the Judiciary and Resources Committees once again supported American Samoa’s interests by unanimously passing H.R. 982 in the 108th Congress and I am thankful that my friends, both Republican and Democrat, also voted in favor of H.R. 982 when this matter was brought to the House Floor for consideration. This legislation is beneficial and critical to the needs of American Samoa and in due time will help us build and strengthen our local economy.”
“At this time, I thank my friends, especially Senator Harry Reid, Assistant Democratic Leader of the U.S. Senate who responded to my letter dated September 20, 2004 in which I requested his support in bringing H.R. 982 to the Senate floor for passage. The Senate Finance Committee favorably reported the bill on July 20, 2004 and placed it on the Senate Calendar for consideration and vote. As Assistant Democratic Leader, I am thankful that Senator Reid was able to hotline this bill.”
“I also appreciate the support of Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Committee on Finance, and Ranking Member Max Baucus for supporting the bill. This bill is good news for American Samoa and, again, will encourage more investment in the Territory. Now that this bill has passed both the House and Senate, H.R. 982 now awaits the President’s signature which I am confident will be forthcoming,” the Congressman concluded.