Obama delays trip to Guam: President to remain in D.C. for health-care reform legislation
By Laura Matthews • Pacific Sunday News • March 14, 2010
A three-day delay in President Obama's start of his trip to Asia won't prevent him from stopping on Guam.
Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo said the president is still planning to stop by the island.
"The president decided to delay his departure for the final effort to pass health-care-reform legislation," Bordallo said yesterday via press release. "The White House has not released any new details of the President's visit to Asia, but I have been assured by White House staff that the President is still intending to visit Guam."
Bordallo said health-care reform is one of the president's "top legislative priorities" and added that she knows once that work is done "he will certainly appreciate the warm welcome that he will receive on Guam."
According to USA Today, Obama is delaying the start of his trip to Asia -- which includes a stopover in Guam -- by three days from Thursday, March 18, to Sunday, March 21.
Also, the first family will not be accompanying him on his trip, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed in the report.
According to the Associated Press, Obama's trip will run March 21 to March 26 because Gibbs insisted that Congress act on the health legislation by March 18, which was Obama's original departure date.
Acting Gov. Michael Cruz said he knows the president's visit to Guam is still on the agenda and Adelup will continue to work with the White House in preparation for the visit.
"We were informed late last night that the President's trip has been delayed," Cruz said. "At this point, a visit to Guam remains on President Obama's agenda and we have not been notified otherwise. We will continue to work with the White House and the president's advance team to prepare for his visit."
But Cruz isn't the only one preparing for the presidential visit.
The Guam Visitors Bureau is ready to give Obama a warm Guam welcome and host an island-style fiesta if it gets clearance to do so. It is also looking to shower the president with souvenirs.
Others are hoping that Obama will have enough time to address the community.
Several local senators have sent letters to the president asking him to meet with the local community.
In addition, the political action group We Are Guåhan submitted a petition with more than 11,000 electronic signatures asking President Obama to speak with the local community when he makes his visit. We Are Guåhan said it sent its petition to the White House on Thursday via e-mail and through the postal service.
Obama is scheduled to meet with Gov. Felix Camacho and it is still uncertain if the president will make a public address or discuss buildup issues with other members of the government or community.