|Congressman Faleomavaega is pleased to announce that
the Republican Chairman and Ranking Democratic Member of the House Committee
on Veterans’ affairs are supporting his initiative to establish a veterans’
clinic in American Samoa.
“Congressman Christopher Smith, Chairman, and Congressman Lane Evans,
Ranking Member, signed on to a letter I am sending to the U.S. Secretary
of Veterans’ Affairs requesting an expedited review of our forthcoming
application to construct and staff a veterans’ clinic in the Territory,”
Congressman Faleomavaega said. “This is an important development
because it reaches across party lines and sends a clear message that there
is bi-partisan support for this effort.”
“As a senior Democrat in Congress, I’ve had the opportunity to work
with Congressman Smith and Congressman Evans for some time now. Although
many people are under the assumption that Congress is all about political
parties, the fact of the matter is Congress is about relationships established
over long periods of time,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I’ve
worked with Chris Smith for a number of years now on the House Committee
on International Relations. We also work together on the East Asia
and the Pacific Subcommittee where I serve as Ranking Member.”
“Lane Evans and I worked together in authorizing legislation for
the VA home loan program in American Samoa,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“I am thankful that as a result of our continued association both members
are fully committed to supporting this initiative to address the needs
of our local veterans.”
“As we have noted in our joint letter to Secretary Principi, we
believe that veterans living in American Samoa should be offered the same
services and benefits offered to those residing in other parts of the United
States. The establishment of a VA clinic in American Samoa must be
a critical and urgent priority of the Veterans’ Administration,” Congressman
“I am hopeful that as a result of our joint commitment we will be
able to move this process forward and expedite the review of our application.
My office continues to remain in constant communication with Dave Burge,
Regional Director of the Veterans’ Administration in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Mr. Burge has assured me that he will be submitting an application in support
of our request by the end of June,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“I have already contacted the national Veterans’ administration
to make them aware of the forthcoming application. As part of my
continued commitment to the people of this Territory, I will continue to
do all I can to ensure that our application is treated fairly and equitably
in the process. I will also continue to work with my friends in Congress
to see that the needs of our Territory are met,” Congressman Faleomavaega
“The federal government continues to provide for nearly 75% of our
needs and I am appreciative of the Veterans’ Administration’s willingness
to provide additional dollars for the health and well-being of our veterans.
I am also appreciative of our local Senate’s continued commitment and support
of this initiative,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I am hopeful
that as a result of our joint efforts we will be able to make a difference
for veterans living in American Samoa.”