Updated: Oct 10, 2019
(VIDEO COURTESY OF CONGRESSMAN SAN NICOLAS'S OFFICE. Click above to watch)
By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) Last week in Washington, Congressman Michael San Nicolas debated a couple of his colleagues, who criticized the United States's relationship with the Freely Associated States of Micronesia.
Mr. San Nicolas, in 10 minutes of excerpts from Congressional hearings on the Compacts of Free Association with Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, fights for the funding that Guam, the CNMI, Hawaii, and the freely associated states need to support the American promise behind these compacts, and American foreign policy that is aided by these compacts.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Defense Robert Shriver admitted to Mr. San Nicolas that if the Compacts were to go away, U.S. Pacific Command's structure and posture would be forced to change, causing significant harm to the United States.
Members of Congress, one by one, yielded their time to Mr. San Nicolas, who commanded the issue in questioning of Interior, Defense, and diplomatic officials during the hearing. The Congressman fought for Medicaid funding for FAS citizens, and for the funding their people need to build the infrastructure within the FAS island nations to make their communities self sustaining and not so reliant on American subsidies or Guam opportunities.