By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Guam officials met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during her brief stopover on Guam on Sunday on her way to Taiwan.
Gov. Leon Guerrero, Lt. Gov. Tenorio and a congressional delegation including Congressman Michael San Nicolas received a briefing by Adm. Benjamin Nicholson and Brigadier General Paul Birch, commander of the 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base.
"We engaged in highly classified discussions critical to Guam’s safety and the well-being of our community, and shared detail of our need for inclusion into national programs," Congressman San Nicolas said.
Pelosi’s delegation (CODEL) is on a tour of the Indo-Pacific region and consists of five of her colleagues from various committees.
“Speaker Pelosi expressed she was honored to meet with me during the stopover. We talked about the strategic importance of our island in the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States, and she thanked the people of Guam for our patriotism. It was certainly an honor to welcome her, and it is this recognition and positive reputation that we must continue to maintain in Congress,” said Leon Guerrero
“This will ensure Guam gets the maximum benefit from the military buildup and that federal and Guam laws are complied with regarding the protection of our environment and culture.”
The Codel included Congressman Mark Takano, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Congressman Gregory Meeks, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
“I appreciate their visit and the opportunity to share Guam’s key role in overall national defense. My exchange with the delegation yesterday will help build future discussions on critical issues impacting Guam that need federal action,” Leon Guerrero said.
“It is always a pleasure working with the Speaker, whom I worked with previously to secure the increase in Medicaid funding for Guam from $18 million to $133 million. My office continues to engage with Congress to ensure the continuation of this increased level of funding," she added.
San Nicolas said the visit was kept under wraps prior to the delegation's arrival "out of respect for national security" and to ensure the delegation's safe travels.
"We maintained the necessary confidentiality of this visit until everyone arrived safely at their next destination, and we are again so grateful they made time to show respect to our island and people of Guam," San Nicolas said.
"We were so pleased our friends made time to visit Guam and find out about key issues we need to maintain attention on," said Congressman San Nicolas.
"We presented all members with leis as is our tradition, and a model proa for the Speaker as a reminder of our ingenious ingenuity, all of which were gratefully received," he added.