Delegate San Nicolas phones home via FB fireside chat

February 6, 2019

 

Flanked by a crackling faux fire, Delegate Michael FQ San Nicolas assured the folks at home that he's hard at work on Guam issues. Billed as a FaceBook press conference, the event was largely one way, with San Nicolas, who hasn't established a permanent Washington office, running down meetings and other efforts to that end.

 

Guam War Claims Act

 

San Nicolas said he's in touch with the U.S. Treasury. Statutory language was left out of the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, preventing the Treasury from writing and disbursing checks to claimants whose claims have already been adjudicated and certified for payment. Language drafted by Treasury which will serve as a fix to the offending issue is undergoing the scrubbing process to guarantee no further delays to the disbursements of funds will occur. He expects the bill to be introduced before the end of the week. 

 

This site can be used to determine if the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission has already determined an outcome.

 

H-2B Issue

 

He said the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus is attempting to address the H-2A/B issue that plagues Guam and certain areas throughout the nation.

 

He has co-signed a letter with Governor Lou Leon Guerrero that will be presented to the White House seeking clarification and assurances that the recent removal of the Philippines from the list of eligible participating countries from the H-2B program by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will not impact the H-2B petitions qualified under the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act which allows continued access of workers from the Philippines connected to projects directly associated with the military build-up.

 

A meeting is scheduled at the end of this week with the Philippine Ambassador to the United States to determine if there is anything on their end that they can help, and what we can do collaboratively to address issues.

 

Cockfighting

 

He has co-sponsored legislation with Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico, Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon, to repeal the cockfighting ban impacting the Territories. She will be introducing this bill prior to the end of the week.

 

He has also requested the Congressional Research Services determine whether under the Organic Act, Guam is exempted from the recently passed measure that criminalizes and bans cockfighting in Guam.

 

Veterans Issues

 

San Nicolas claimed that no notes or documentation exist and/or were turned over to his office detailing the issues impacting Guam veterans that were addressed to former Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo, he will "need to start from scratch."

 

He said he has met with various veterans and is now keeping track and documenting issues as well as agreeing to take the lead in introducing legislation relating to Agent Orange.

 

Supplemental Security Income

 

He said he introduced a bill to include Guam under SSI coverage and claimed he has already secured support and co-sponsorship from Delegate Gregorio “Kilili” Sablan (CNMI), Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security Chairman John Larson, and Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support Chairman Danny Davis.

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