By Troy Torres
Congressman Michael San Nicolas, often ignored by his Democrat colleagues on Guam, has made very powerful and influential friends of Democrats and Republicans in Congress. And that has boded well for the people of this island.
While Calvo-owned KUAM lambasts him for the silliest of matters and the administration and senators give credit due him to his predecessor, Mr. San Nicolas has managed to convince the most powerful members of Congress to ease the burden of those who suffered throughout the pandemic.
Billions of American tax dollars have been appropriated to Guam since the first federal stimulus package in early 2020. This money paid for the government of Guam to stay afloat, increased the amount of food people could buy, provided weekly paychecks to workers who lost hours and jobs, kept businesses afloat, and much more. In this third and latest round, Mr. San Nicolas made sure Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero will have the money she needs to rebuild Guam's government and economy. He managed to secure 100 percent reimbursement of the earned income credit, a political dream of island leaders going back to 1987. And, of course, more importantly - the majority of adult residents and their dependents are gonna get a big, fat stimulus check and extended unemployment assistance.
The work of Guam's congressional office has been so inclusive and involved, that people who are behind on their rent and power and water bills need not worry anymore.
These programs would not have been administered without the governor and the hard work and sacrifices of government of Guam employees, who stood up and ran the unemployment programs, the stimulus payouts, the rent and utilities relief project, the quarantine and isolation facilities, the testing and vaccination clinics, and everything else in between. Mr. San Nicolas has never missed the chance to credit the governor and agency heads, who have executed the use of the funding he secured, or to put the fire under the behinds of those who lagged.
But the congressman also has a habit of sharing credit for the securing of that funding, as well. In the latest release from his office, Mr. San Nicolas tells the people of Guam that it was House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina who made sure the votes were there to include, not just Guam, but all the territories, in the programs that have and will help people. Mr. Clyburn's job as Majority Whip is to 'whip' the votes of the Democrats in the House; to cajole them into voting a certain way. His voice matters. Mr. San Nicolas convinced him that our voice matters, too.
"Please join me in thanking Majority Whip Jim Clyburn for his role in ensuring our Territories are fully included in the BILLIONS in relief our island has received during these COVID-19 circumstances.
"The Majority Whip is among the top 3 leadership positions in the Congress, has the job of delivering the votes on the Floor for a Bill or Amendment to pass, and Whip Clyburn's leadership has ensured we not only had the votes we needed for relief to pass the House, he made sure no votes were sufficient to leave us out in any way.
"Thank you Whip Clyburn." - Statement from Congressman San Nicolas