By Nancy I. Maanao
(Tumon, Guam) There are choice words we are known to use and would more succinctly express our opinion on this matter; but, alas, we will maintain civility here.
Congressman Michael San Nicolas warned senators and Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero repeatedly that their asinine attempt to have the federal government reimburse Guam for locally-paid war claims would jeopardize the federal war claims measure - House Resolution 1365.
He's been warning them since June. He even spoke to senators via phone conference while they were in session in August about the dangers to the federal measure if Speaker Tina Muna Barnes's local appropriations bill - Bill No. 181 - were to pass.
Mr. San Nicolas's warnings in August seemed to stave off the Legislature's idiotic attempt to curry favor with a voting bloc at the expense of true justice our island's Greatest Generation has been waiting 75 years to see. She withdrew the bill from consideration back in August. Last month, Mr. San Nicolas made a wonderful announcement: HR 1365 had passed a major hurdle in the Senate and was bound for unanimous passage. On that same day, Ms. Muna Barnes rushed her own announcement: she'll be resurrecting her Bill 181 and placing it before senators in the December session.
She and a group of Democrats and Republican Sen. Wil Castro - who Monday announced his candidacy for Congress - orchestrated the ramrod of Bill 181 through the legislative process without any debate or discussion on the bill, which had been heavily changed from the August version. Senators Therese Terlaje, Telo Taitague, and James Moylan vehemently opposed the majority faction's actions. Their objections were all overruled by the speaker.
The Republican senators, except Mr. Castro and Ms. Taitague, voted against Bill No. 181.
Ms. Leon Guerrero signed the bill into law, despite Mr. San Nicolas's repeated pleas for her not to do so.
Early Monday evening Mr. San Nicolas gave detailed reasons for the need to repeal the law in his address before the Guam Legislature. He again asked the governor and the senators to allow reason to prevail against the politics. He described, yet again, that if Washington finds out about the local appropriation and the intention to have a local appropriation reimbursed with federal money, the Senate would not authorize the money to be spent at all. That, in effect, would kill the 75-year-old federal war claims effort.
Rather than listening to reason, the governor hastily and stubbornly put out a reaction, refusing to listen to the congressman and stating in essence she would do no such thing as to repeal 181.
Moments ago we received the news many hoped we wouldn't get: that Bill No. 181 has indeed reached the ears of at least one United States senator, and that one senator may actually raise an objection to a vote of unanimous consent on HR 1365's passage.
If this, or any other United States senator, raises an objection to 1365's unanimous consent, then the measure will be torn apart on the Senate floor.
Mr. San Nicolas is heading back to Washington, D.C. to "salvage" what he can in the wake of this mess.
What are these Guam senators going to say for themselves? What possible excuse can they give for their unforgivable actions that may very well have cost the federal war claims effort? What will Ms. Leon Guerrero have to say for herself?
They should be ashamed of themselves for being such selfish idiots, who could not see past themselves.
If they screwed the war claims effort, they should resign, or we should remove them from office. Because if they were willing to put politics before an issue as long-standing, important, and solemn as war claims, you can bet your bottom dollar they'll put themselves before you, your children, or even the memory of your dead parents on any issue before them.