What specifically would you focus on in regards to the military buildup?
As the Ranking Democrat on the Housed Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, which is the subcommittee most crucial to the military buildup, I am in a unique position to ensure the military buildup is environmentally sensitive and socially responsible. My priority will be to get this buildup going and done right. I will continue to work with the governor, the Legislature, and the various viewpoints, through the Guam First Commission to ensure that our community's concerns are addressed. I am confident the buildup will strengthen our economy and I will continue to focus my efforts on opportunities that will provide jobs.
What would you do to reduce the impact of the FAS compacts on Guam?
I will continue working with Asst. Secretary Tony Babuata and my congressional colleagues to find solutions that address the impact on our local government. I will also work with FAS leaders so that their citizens are properly educated on the expectations of their migration prior to leaving their homes. I am also working with Gov. Calvo to provide Medicaid coverage for emergency medical treatment for FAS migrants. This will shift some of the financial burden on our local government to the federal government. I will build on progress that we have made for past Compact impact costs, such as giving us credit where local match is needed.
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?
There has been significant progress on the visa waiver program and I want to thank our community and business leaders for their efforts in pushing for the inclusion of China in the Guam-CNMI visa waiver program. At the invitation of President Obama, I joined him aboard Air Force One where I raised this issue. The President informed me that Russia was approved and that China parole authority needed more work. I continue to work with the Dept. of Homeland Security to address security concerns and I have met with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to discuss their views. As co-chair of the China Caucus, I am building support for this program.