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We ought to be very, very proud and very thankful that we have a Congress which permits people from all territories to hear and deliver our message.
In the past, it was someone else that was giving the testimony in behalf of Guam and American Samoa and the Virgin Islands, while we sat in the back and listened. Today and in the last few years, it has been our people, our people who are expressing the sentiments of our people. It is the sons and daughters of Guam and the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expressing the sentiments of our people and the sons and daughters of Guam and the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico who are visiting and delivering the message.
You cannot help but have it any better any other way. Above all, let me say to you that we have been at this for sometime now, and I, for one, was particularly impressed with the quality and the sincerity and the passion of the testimony of everyone from Guam.
Frankly, I did not expect that there would be that many people coming. I am glad that you all did because it means a lot to the cause when we go forward now. I want to thank my friend from American Samoa. He has been extremely helpful in giving a dimension we don't think about sometimes, but he has been a staffer. He is now a Congressman, and the reason Mr. Fuster is so good is because he went to Notre Dame as I did and, of course the others as well.
But for my part of it, let me say, Mr. Chairman, that working with you on the Palau compact and watching you the last few years, I am completely persuaded that, if I were to have a person to champion my cause I happen to be in the minority in case you haven't figured it out, consequently I won't be a chairman of any. thing in this lifetime, so I ought to be nice to those people who are so fortunate as to be chairman-I want to tell you that if I were given a choice to have someone to champion the cause of Guam, I would pick an American version like you.
I want to thank you very much and the other people, and above all I want to thank my people, you have made me very proud, and I am glad and honored to be representing you all. Thank you.
The gentleman from American Samoa now. Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I just want to say that what Congressman Blaz has said so eloquently in behalf of the Chamorro people present here and for the people of Guam who have been listening intently in the past two days of the hearings as we have done, I want to say that even though there are only a couple Samoans present here, that I, too, would like to offer my highest commendation and deepest appreciation to you for your outstanding leadership and in taking the chairmanship of this important subcommittee as far as I am concerned, because it addresses the very needs of our territorial people and I want to let you know that you are more than welcome any day, at any time to visit Samoa with me even though it is just a little further south. But I think we will make it.
And to my good friend from Guam, yes, I happen to have a relative who is going to be playing against Notre Dame, I believe, sometime in the coming next week and I know Notre Dame, unfortunately, will not win against Colorado, but with that in view, Mr. Chairman, sincerely, thank you so much for your coming all the way here to hear our Chamorro cousins.
hough it my good frie be playing and I
You have heard their views and perspectives. Again, I sincerely hope we will meet these needs like Guam has been asking for the last 400 years. Thank you very much.
Mr. DE LUGO). Thank you very much. Also, I want to thank our court reporter down here, Ray Boyum. He has taken down everything that has been said-some of you are worried now, right? That is quite a job. Thank you very much, Ray.
Of course, I want to thank Tom Dunmire, an ex-officio member of our staff and long-time friend of this subcommittee, too. I want to thank the Hawaii Association of Guam for their wonderful hospitality. I just want to say, Eni, and Ben, that I am, as you know, a member of the Public Works Committee, and because of my seniority, I was in line for several other subcommittees of national importance, great national importance.
But I passed them up because for us there is no subcommittee that is more important than this one. So it is my honor to chair this subcommittee. I am going to get the job done for you because I firmly believe that.
The subcommittee is adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 5:30 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.]
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1989
ADDITIONAL MATERIAL SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING RECORD
Rudyard Kipling's immortal proposition: "East is East and West is West and never the train shall meet" is most appropriate
at this stage
quest for a new political status.
Inspite of Delegate Ben Blaz's valiant efforts to get a large
number of non-interior committee members of Congress to co
sponsor the proposed Guam Commonwealth Act, it is not likely that HR-98 (or the Senate version S-317) will emerge out of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee in its present form. The testimony presented by the Guam Delegation headed by Governor Joseph Ada, and the differing comments of the Bush Administration representatives, to the Subcommittee on Insular and International Affairs at the Honolulu hearings on December 1112, 1989 demonstrate that the gulf and issues that separate Guam from Washington have not been narrowed much less bridged. In short, Guam and the Federal Government officials are still
singing different tunes and from different sheet music.
First of all, the decision of the Commission on SelfDetermination to hold a plebiscite on the draft Commonwealth Act (CA) before the concerned committees of Congress have had the opportunity to express their collective views was a serious error in judgment. Many felt, including this writer (Guam Tribune, 7/14/87), that to imbue the draft Commonwealth Act with a vox POPULI seal of approval will not mitigate the risk of a
little doubt that HR-98 as
congressional rejection of some sections of the proposed Act. Since there is little doubt that HR-98 as presently drafted will not be passed by Congress, this raises the question whether the Commission on Self-Determination (CSD) has the authority to unilaterally make changes in the draft Commonwealth Act without another plebiscite. The plebiscite as had been alluded to before August 8, 1987, was akin to playing the Russian Roulett. (Guam Tribune, 7/14/87).
Second, and more important to Guam, the CSD also erred in accepting the so-called legislative route toward achieving Commonwealth government instead of the negotiated covenant approach envisioned in concurrent Resolution 131 introduced by Delegate Antonio won Pat on May 25, 1983. (PDN/Voice 3/20/87). As it is now, members of the CSD have no control of the draft Commonwealth Act once it is introduced in the U.s. House of Representatives. To be sure, they can recommend amendments, but they can't delete amendments offered by others or rewrite the bill, only members of the committee can. For all practical purposes, then, the members of the Guam CSD have assumed the role of being petitioners seeking redress of grievances instead of being active and equal partners in the political status process. As for its relation with the administration, CSD has also been reduced to a mere conduit of information between Guam and Washington. The risk for Guam is that the Congress in working
its legislative will could conceivably, though not very likely,