By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Republican Party of Guam today pushed for the adoption of a legislative resolution that would terminate the public health emergency designation for Guam and restore checks and balances in government.
Guam senators will go into session on Thursday to discuss Resolution 291-36, introduced by Sen. Chris Duenas and co-sponsored by fellow Republicans.
"The administration is finally sharing information to senators, and it’s taking place in the people’s house, the Guam Congress building," the Republican Party said in a statement. "While certain responses may seem questionable, democracy wins when checks and balances allow lawmakers to ask the right questions."
Despite a decline in Covid-19 cases over the past weeks, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has extended Guam's public health emergency for yet another month, claiming it was necessary for the island to retain such a status in order to keep its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, allocation.
"The graphics contain false information that claims Resolution 291-36 would jeopardize aid for 15,000 families and 45,000 children," the Republican Party said.
Public health and medical officials, National Guard and Homeland Security officers and other administration representatives are expected to testify on Thursday.
"The Resolution addresses many of the concerns these various entities have raised, and lawmakers are certainly amiable toward making any other changes which may be needed because of this dialogue," the Republican Party said.
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Party officials said Resolution 291-36 would bring accountability and transparency back into the process.
"Despite a release from the administration on Saturday, it is evident that the governor of Guam can address some of the concerns that they have outlined to address issues like SNAP funding, nursing shortages, and the need for the National Guard by signing a specific executive order, which signifies an emergency or disaster," the statement reads.
"Hawaii and other jurisdictions have successfully done this without jeopardizing millions in federal assistance," it added.
The Republican Party expressed disappointment that "dirty tactics are being used to discredit Minority Leader Chris Dueñas and a critical legislative process, which will restore our people’s freedom while taking away supreme powers of the governor when it comes to procurement and hiring, which seems to be the cusp of keeping the emergency declaration in place."