Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has sent another letter to Governor Togiola, Senate President Gaoteote and House Speaker Savali updating them regarding H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Faleomavaega’s letter, dated January 28, 2009, was copied to Senator Inouye, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Senators and Representatives of the American Samoa Legislature. The full text of the letter is included below:
Dear Governor, Mr. President, and Mr. Speaker:
As a further update to my letter of January 27 and the Territorial Delegates’ efforts to bundle stimulus funds to provide greater flexibility to our local governments, I am writing to inform you that the Rules committee was unable to get the support needed from the House Appropriations Committee in order to move our amendment to the Floor for consideration. Given that the House will not support an additional set aside or an offset of $500,000,000 for the Office of Insular Affairs due to the many demands Congress must meet in order to address the financial crisis before us, it will be up to the Senate to decide if further action will be taken on our request. Tomorrow, I will be meeting with Senator Inouye.
In the event that the Senate is unable to provide specific funding for the Office of Insular Affairs to fund critical infrastructure projects in the Territories, then I am hopeful that our local governments will submit the necessary grant applications which may be required of them to receive federal funds available by formula, competitive, and discretionary means. Yesterday, I provided you with information regarding the amount of money the Territories will be receiving in the categories that have been presented to Congress so far.
“As more information becomes available, I will continue to keep you informed,” Faleomavaega concluded.