What specifically would you focus on in regards to the military buildup?
I will work on establishing a constructive dialogue with the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Department of Defense to help in addressing the requirements set out by the Senate as they continue to consider the buildup plan. While it is now obvious that any forward motion for the buildup required more than our signing of a Programmatic Agreement, it would have been beneficial for us if our representation was cognizant of the Senate requirement and worked on addressing their issues.
What would you do to reduce the impact of the FAS compacts on Guam?
I will hold the Executive Branch, specifically the Department of the Interior, to the annual reporting requirement to the Congress on the impacts of the Compacts. This report will help to initiate the needed discussions for eventual action to reduce the impacts that the Compacts of Free Association has on all affected jurisdictions. While the most desirous outcome is that we receive the full amount still owed for past costs and annually receive equitable reimbursements for what we actually spend, we haven’t engaged in the opportunity to fully explore options that could be available to address unreimbursed costs and mitigate future expenditures.
What can you do to effectively persuade the federal government to approve parole authority, or the China visa waiver, for visitors from China to our island?
I believe there should be more engagement with the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State in dealing with this issue. In line with a Presidential Executive Order executed in January that promotes tourism in the United States, we need to ensure that it is not forgotten, nor ignored, that Guam is a part of this country – unlike how it has been with other economically advantageous programs. I further believe we should re-engage in the effort towards a Philippine visa waiver program as well. A promise was made in 2002 to work on including the Philippines, but the effort was dropped without community discussion.