May 19, 2009

The Oversight Hearing took place before a standing room only crowd in the Longworth Building this morning.  I arrived early at the same time as Governor Fitial and his wife, Josie.  I was able to talk with them while we waited for the doors to open, and I sat in the back of the room with  Mrs. Fitial during the hearing. 

Lynn Knight and Deanne Siemer sat in front of us. Also attending  was Richard and Miriam Pierce, Chamber President Jim Arenovski, Howard Willens, Guam Governor Felix Camacho, Guam Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, DOI's  Tony Babauta, David Cohen, Al Stayman, Dennis Greenia, GAO offiials, and DHS officials.  

Subcommittee Chair Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo made it clear that Guam issues were her priority continually questioning witnesses on the visa waiver issue and how it related to Guam.  

Calls for a delay were put down by federal officials who stated that they would have the foreign investor regulations out within a few weeks and the transitional guest worker program regulations out after that.  When asked if they would have everything in place to start in November they said they would.

Congressman Sablan asked a variety of questions and made a recommendation that the subcommittee conduct another hearing in a few months to monitor the progress of the agencies coordinating the takeover.  I expect the Senate Committee to hold a hearing also.

The most disturbing remark came from DOI Acting Deputy of Insular Affairs, Nik Pula who asked for a delay of a year for the provision to recommend status for nonresidents.  Instead of asking for a delay he may want to get to work with DHS to start gathering data and compiling information to prepare for the deadline.  That is a ridiculous request and was extremely disturbing to hear.  It has been a year since the law was signed. Those federal agencies and departments that are charged with implementing the law, drafting regulations and setting up systems need to do their jobs and meet deadlines. Get to work! 

The argument that the Fitial Administration has been making that enough funds were not allocated is mute. Federal officials said they have the needed funds.  

I just got back so I'll post more tomorrow!

Here are some photos from the hearing:

Photos by Wendy L.  Doromal ©2009


Anonymous said...


DHS and Insular Affairs have far more important matters to deal with.

These things take a lot of time. I would give it until at least 2015.

wendy said...

DHS and Interior were given the job through legislation. If they are too busy they can hire consultants to do the work. "These things" can be done in the time laid out in the law. You sound like my students trying to get more days for an assignment.

Anonymous said...

Richard Pierce was not present.

Anonymous said...

Cohen made a Great presentation !!! Contents are realistic and Humanitarian aspects accurately stated. Wendy Thanks so much for your help and letting us be HEARD. YOU and the rest of the TEAM are our voices. YES WE CAN INDEED!!!!


Anonymous said...

DOI Acting Deputy of Insular Affairs, Nik Pula acts like
another Jack Abramoff

Saitan A team said...

Willens, Pula, Jim Arnoski, in one pic with probably Lynn Knight, Fitial in another with Schemer, Marriane Aldan Pierce...so many of the A-team in one room. How many of these guys donated money to Schaefer, Jack, or Delay?

Anonymous said...

Pierce Aldan-Pierce and Fitial did.

Anonymous said...

Willie Tan, Eloy Inos, and Paul Zak contributed too.