Hagåtña, Guam – On Saturday, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Lieutenant Governor Joshua Tenorio met with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland during her weeklong visit to the Pacific islands. Secretary Haaland was accompanied by Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor and Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison Erika L. Moritsugu.
“In addition to providing updates on Guam’s recovery efforts from Typhoon Mawar, these visits serve as valuable opportunities for our federal partners to gain an understanding of our most pressing issues. From addressing national security to Compact of Free Association (COFA) negotiations, housing and workforce development, and invasive species, our administration is requesting greater support and advocacy in all these areas to increase the quality of life for the people of Guam,” said Governor Leon Guerrero. “Specific to COFA negotiations, our administration is working to ensure we receive adequate reimbursement for compact impact expenses, and we will continue to push for this as Congress begins the task of reviewing and amending the renegotiated Compacts that Interior and State have put together. Additionally, we are in support of the Compact Impact Fairness Act (CIFA) and its intent to allow non U.S. COFA citizens the same social benefits as those in the respective places of residents. As I explained to Secretary Haaland today, CIFA should not replace the $30 million in Compact funds received by the COFA-impacted U.S. territories as these funds are spent separate from the social benefits. I have also asked that she support Delegate Moylan’s amendment to extend $16 million for the next year.”
“Since taking office, our administration has built strong relationships with our federal partners, enabling us to maximize federal resources and ensure Guam stays top of mind at all levels of government. We want to thank Secretary Haaland for taking the time to visit Guam and her continued support for us in the Pacific,” said Lt. Governor Tenorio.