Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bordallo confirms Obama visit in March

Bordallo confirms Obama visit in March

Tuesday, 02 February 2010 00:23
by Therese Hart | Variety News Staff

CONGRESSWOMAN Madeleine Bordallo confirmed yesterday that President Barack Obama is coming to Guam in March as he tours Asia but details of the trip have not been relayed to her office.

The routes are likely to include India or Indonesia as well as Australia and Japan.

“He’s coming and we don’t have any details as of yet. Soon as we have them, we’ll share them with you,” Bordallo said.

Bordallo met with members of the legislature yesterday to discuss the draft environmental impact statement.

Lawmakers are hopeful that when the president visits they will be given the opportunity to impress their true feelings of the buildup, starting with the draft environmental impact statement.

Speaker Judi Won Pat said the military buildup will be one of the biggest policy decisions that Obama will make. His intimate understanding of the entire process is necessary if it is to be a success, not just for the federal government, but for the people of Guam, too, the speaker added.

One concern discussed during the meeting was whether lawmakers were in sync with the sentiments that Bordallo and Gov. Felix Camacho are saying to Washington leaders—that the buildup is happening too soon and a delay will benefit Guam.

Won Pat said the legislature has a resolution that shares a common ground with Bordallo and Camacho.

“There are 14 senators with 14 different ideas. Therefore, what we want to do is to make sure that what’s in the resolution will be something that everybody would be willing to sign off and agree on so there will be that common ground from the legislature,” the speaker said.

Won Pat said one common ground that is clear is the issue of whether the federal government will condemn lands and that the congresswoman, the governor and the legislature are all against.

Another common ground is the concern of the dredging of Apra Harbor, as well as the fact that the issues that the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority will face when the buildup happens was “underdiscussed” in the draft impact report, said Won Pat.

The Guam community will not be able to keep up with the military buildup and a delay would be a good thing, said the speaker.

“There has to be discussion on how the military can assist the government to go beyond organic growth. I know they’re moving fast and by moving fast, this could totally flop. They need to stop and reconsider and that’s why there is this request for additional time,” said Won Pat.

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