Leaders give Bordallo high marks for speech - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Leaders give Bordallo high marks for speech

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The reviews are out, and for the most part the island's elected leaders are giving high marks for Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo's sixth Congressional Address, which delivered last night from the Guam Legislature.

The congresswoman prefaced her speech by saying she wanted to have an open and candid discussion about the problems confronting Guam in Washington, inviting everyone as if they were sitting around the kitchen table and talking as a family. Guam Chamber of Commerce president David Leddy said, "I thought it was very good."

From the island's business community and her plans to introduce legislation to mandate base commissaries and exchanges across the country buy local, to her ongoing efforts to work with island leaders and her colleagues in Congress to push through the china visa waiver, many voiced their support of the delegate's presentation. Joanne Camacho ith the Guam Visitors Bureau said, "We're very sure that some day soon we will see Chinese visitors aside from the charters visiting our shores."

Brdallo was open and frank about the various issues she's been working on and continues to work on in the nation's capitol but warned that in these days of deficits and in an and of austerity, Guam will have to fight hard and with one voice. Governor Eddie Calvo said, "I think it's also important that they also realize some of the unfunded mandates that have been put forward by the federal government."

Unfunded mandates such as compact impact reimbursements, which Bordallo said she will work to address the underlying inadequacies of the Compacts of Free Association and work to lessen the burden on Guam and other affected jurisdictions. But she also said that it is extremely unlikely that congress will ever appropriate $400 million to $500 million for Guam's compact impact costs. Bordallo saying the money simply is not there and secondly the island's view that we are owed a reimbursement is not shared by congressional leaders, something Republican congressional candidate Frank Blas, Jr. disagrees with.

He told KUAM News, "Contrary to what she said, I'm a little disappointed  there is actually language contained in the Compacts of Free Association as amended in 2003, that recognizes and states specifically other reimbursements."

Bordallo also talked about how she will work to ensure parity for island veterans, the military buildup, and how the unresolved issue of war reparations remains her top legislative priority. H.R. 44 or the World War Two Loyalty Recognition Act passed the House five times and was brought up twice on the Senate floor for consideration. Its' a battle she doesn't plan to give up on despite fiscal conservatives in Washington.

Speaker Judi Won Pat recognizes the many obstacles Bordallo faces, saying, "It's not an easy task that is for sure; and I, of course, understand some of the things that she's working for is not as easy as people here on Guam expect because we have fifteen members, but as I've said but it's a totally different story in Washington."

Throughout her address Congresswoman Bordallo interspersed quotes from past island leaders like congressmen Robert Underwood, Antonio Won Pat, Ben Blaz and former governors like Felix Camacho, Joseph Ada, Paul Calvo, Carlos Camacho and even her former running mate and widely speculated potential Democrat opponent in the upcoming September primary. 'Let us now, set aside past disagreements and try to help our people. Let us use our energies to be positive. Forget about the anger and the conflict of the past. I say let's clear the slate, start all over and let's all try to do what's best for our people - all our people!'  This was the comment of Governor Carl Gutierrez in 1996 and I agree with him," she said.

 

 

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