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Congressional delegation receives Guam's laundry list during daylong visit


From left, Rep. Sam Graves, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Del. James Moylan, Rep. Mike Bost, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, Rep. Troy Nehls and Rep.David Rouzer. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

 

Guam officials have presented U.S. lawmakers with a laundry list of the island’s priority needs as it navigates its role in homeland security amid the growing anxiety in the region.

 

“We’re at a critical juncture,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said during a meeting with a congressional delegation today.

 

“Our island continues to fall under the spotlight amid escalating geopolitical tensions, she said. "It's imperative to recognize that our best interests are intricately linked with those of the United States and national security."

 

Rep. Mike Bost (Illinois), chair of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, leads the delegation along with Rep. Sam Graves (Missouri), chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

 

Leon Guerrero urged the delegation to address Guam’s pressing needs for infrastructure improvements, including a new hospital, defense access road, underground utilities and a Guam-based veterans facility. The list also includes funding, labor shortages, housing challenges and the high cost of airline travel.

 

People seated at the table.
Guam officials meet with the congressional delegation in Adelup on April 26. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor.

“These visits are vital in bridging understanding and garnering support for Guam’s needs and initiatives and advancing these interests on the national stage,” said the governor, who was joined by her cabinet and utility officials during the meeting with the delegation in Adelup.

 

Joining Bost and Graves are Reps. Troy Nehls (Texas), David Rouzer (North Carolina) and Mark DeSaulnier (California) as well as the directors

 and deputy directors of the respective committees, along with their staff members.

 

“These CODELs are a great learning experience for members of Congress as they get to see first-hand the challenges our community faces daily,” said Guam Del. James Moylan, who welcomed his colleagues upon their arrival on Guam on Thursday night. 

 

“While it is easy to read up about Guam, or view online activity, it is another experience to land here and hear real stories from many in the community. 

Unfortunately, their trip is short, but it was productive, and we look forward to continuing these conversations when we all get back to D.C.,” he added.

 

According to Moylan’s office, the delegation also received briefings from the Joint Region Marianas, the Naval Hospital of Guam and community-based outpatient clinics.


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“Our office has been actively engaged in the veteran issues and will work with

 the committee and the Department of Veterans Affairs to prioritize the process to get expanded care for veterans at the Naval Hospital,” Moylan said.

The Coast Guard accompanied the delegation to inspect the glass breakwater structure damaged by Typhoon Mawar. They also took a window tour of the Port Authority of Guam, Both facilities are deemed vital components of military readiness.

“There is also much interest in funding the breakwater repairs, along with 

seeking a waiver with the Defense Access Roads,” Moylan said. “We are optimistic with the deliverables.”


He said having "chairpersons of two very powerful committees certainly will elevate the dialogue."



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