- Pacific Island Times Staff
Newbie Guam Rep San Nicolas gets schooled in D.C.
He and other freshpersons were well fed
Congressman-elect Michael San Nicolas returned to Guam Monday after completing the first week of Congressional Orientation in Washington D.C. with the historic incoming class of the 116th United States Congress, one of the youngest and most diverse incoming classes in US History. The large incoming class will comprise 20 percent of the overall congress.
The new congressmen familiarized themselves with the procedures of the House as well as their office budget and the hiring process and the safety and security of the Capitol. Members-elect also attended ethics training and familiarized themselves with the central offices of the body. More importantly, however, orientation gave the members-elect a chance to meet and get to know each other as well as the returning members and leaders of congress.
San Nicolas attended dinners with House Speaker Paul Ryan as well as dinners with House Minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi. He attended a dinner and tour of the capital with Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Minority Whip and a dinner with Rep. Jim Clyburn, the Assistant Minority Leader.
He also attended a meeting of Congressional Asia Pacific American Caucus and their special guest, Lawrence Bacow, president of Harvard University. San Nicolas plans to join CAPAC. He also met with and spoke to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and has indicated to that caucus plans to join as well. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has traditionally included Democrats of Chamorro descent as members, including current CNMI Delegate Gregorio 'Kilili' Sablan and former Cong. Robert Underwood. As a member of two of the three major ethnic caucuses in Congress, San Nicolas would be strategically well positioned to advocate for Guam’s interests.
"Donna Shalala, the former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Clinton, and former President of the University of Miami, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin and now congresswoman of Florida engaged in a deep conversation about Guam’s Medicaid issues.
"From that point on, at every social function, Cong. Shalala made it a point to introduce me saying ‘We have to help him with Medicaid for Guam’ This is the power of new beginnings. They give us a chance to find new advocates in new friendships,” said San Nicolas.