26 Jan 2009

US Pacific territories push for inclusion in economic stimulus package

3:04 pm on 26 January 2009

The US Pacific territories are urging the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to include them in the economic stimulus package which will soon be introduced in Congress.

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin of American Samoa, Congresswoman Bordallo of Guam, CNMI's Congressman Sablan, along with Congresswoman Christensen of the Virgin Islands have written to the leaders of the committees expressing disappointment that the stimulus package does not include any specific funding for the insular areas.

The territorial delegates were happy that the bill provides a 20 percent increase in Medicaid caps but say they are disappointed that there is no appropriation for the Office of Insular Affairs to provide for infrastructure projects in the territories.

The delegates say they provided to President Barack Obama's transition team a list of "shovel-ready" projects which provide economic opportunities for those living in the territories.

However none of those proposals were included in a bill that was marked-up by the Committee on Appropriations.