Guam - Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo was sworn into office today to serve in the 112th Congress and already it's off to a rough start as the Republican-controlled House today voted to strip floor voting rights of the delegate representing U.S. territories. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia was joined on the House floor by Congresswoman Bordallo, Congressman Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa, Congresswoman Donna Christensen of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Congressman Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico, and Congressman Kilili Sablan of the CNMI in opposition.
Bordallo says the "The Republican rules package makes this body less transparent and less responsive to the American people," she added.
"By obligating the Delegates to take public stands, our limited vote showed our constituents where we stood on important issues. Our vote also helped ensure legislation considered by the House took our constituents into account. When an amendment came forward last Congress regarding the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo into the U.S, the territories were initially excluded from the prohibition. Our vote compelled the House to address our concerns.
This is precisely how representative democracy is meant to work. Further, men and women from the territories and the District of Columbia serve and have died for our country in the Armed Forces to protect our way of life. Yet, despite all the rhetoric of restoring democracy to the House of Representatives, the Republicans first act is to deny us a basic function of democracy - the right to represent our constituents and vote in the House of Representatives."