Political bickering heats up as elections draw near
The Democratic Party-led 35th Guam Legislature has wrong priorities, the Republican Party said as it accused the legislative body of being the administration's rubber stamp.
"While the Chamber of Commerce is working toward diversifying our economy through new industries, the leadership of the Guam Legislature is taking their cue from Adelup in keeping taxes high and not allowing our island to be attractive for outside investments," the Republican Party said in a statement.
Instead of proposing austerity measures, the Republican Party said, the legislature is more focused on passing out commendation resolutions, discussing signs for hiking trails, banning plastic bags and taxing businesses to attain parametric insurance for the reef.
Carlo Branch, the administration's policy director, lashed back at the Republican Party, saying its five-paragraph statement "could have said in a single sentence: 'A vote for his Republicans is a vote for furloughs and layoffs.'"
The Republican Party also slammed Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero for misrepresenting the state of the government of Guam's finances as "great" and for proposing a $1 billion budget as her administration continues to hire more people at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Maybe she believes that by displaying this frontage, at least until the general election, it would provide the voters some confidence in maintaining a Democratic majority for the 36th Guam Legislature," the statement reads.
While the Guam Legislature is typically dominated by Democrats, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero is the first Democratic governor in eight years.
"What is bothersome is that the majority in the Guam Legislature is saying absolutely nothing regarding government spending," the Republical Party said.
The Republicans also noted that some of the senators were members of the 33rd and 34th Guam Legislature that sought the elimination of deputy director positions and moratorium on government hiring.
Branch, on the other hand, claimed the previous Republican administration did not practice austerity either.
"Eight years of Calvo-Republican leadership at Adelup saw our long term debt balloon, child support funds stolen, and federally protected E911 funds raided to pay for government mismanagement and illegal retroactive pay raises," he said.
"Now the same party that exploded our debt, grew our deficit, and left us without a basic safety net for the unemployed, says it deserves another turn behind the wheel—problem is we should never forget all the time they’ve spent driving us off the cliff," Branch added.