Blas, Jr. to Congress - Reimburse Guam
Written by Guam News Factor Staff Writer
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 11:32
GUAM - Senator Frank Blas, Jr. yesterday presented an historic petition signed by 7, 415 Guam residents to U.S. Congressman Nick J. Rahall, II, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources.
The petition was presented at a working luncheon hosted by Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo for the visiting congressional delegation and island leaders.
The petition to Congress asks for the unreimbursed costs of services provided relative to the Compacts of Free Association. Senator Blas, along with Senator Tina Muna-Barnes organized the petition drive.
"The people of Guam are speaking loud and clear. ‘Reimburse our island for your mandates,'" Senator BIas said. "The amount of money the U.S. government owes Guam can almost fund the full operations of the local government for an entire year! It is a gross injustice Senator Barnes and I are fighting hard to correct."
Citizens from the Freely Associated States also are concerned about the federal government's failure to fulfill its obligations under the compacts. The lack of funding has created shortfalls in resources to provide the services all the people of Guam deserve and expect.
Many former FAS residents signed the petition, acknowledging the need for the U.S. government to abide by its fiduciary responsibilities.
The petition included signatures from former Governor Joseph Ada, former Lt. Governor Frank Blas, former Congressman Robert Underwood, Lt. Governor Michael W. Cruz, members of the Legislature and the Consul Generals of the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.
The original petition was submitted to Congress via Congressman Rahall, who is leading a Congressional delegation on Guam. Electronic copies were provided to the other members of the delegation.