Amata sworn in for 115th Congress
Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata, and the House of Representatives convened the start of the 115th Congress after being sworn in yesterday afternoon by House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI), who was also re-elected by House Members to continue his post as Speaker of the House.
“I could not be more excited to be back at work for the people of American Samoa,” stated Amata. “The 115th Congress is going to be a very productive one, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that American Samoa is included in any legislation that will help us to improve the lives of our people,” continued the Congresswoman.
The GOP has a bold agenda set for the 115th Congress including, rebuilding our military, healthcare reform, tax code reform, and major investment in the nation’s infrastructure. Congresswoman Amata’s agenda includes making sure that any healthcare reform includes the territories, unlike during the last overhaul, when the territories were left out altogether. The Congresswoman will also continue to focus her efforts on strengthening the stability of the local fishing industry, which is so important to the economic well-being of American Samoa, as well as a number of other issues that affect the territories.
“Once again, I want to thank the people of American Samoa for the privilege to continue serving them, and I look forward to continuing to work on their behalf. God bless the United States and God bless American Samoa,” concluded Amata.
A WIN FOR TERRITORIES ON DAY ONE OF 115TH CONGRESS
Aumua successfully introduced an amendment to the House Rules, which will allow Delegates from the five U.S. territories to act as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole (COTW).
“While this is just a small improvement to how the Members from the territories are able to participate in House business, it demonstrates the Republican majority’s willingness to extend our hand across the aisle and be more inclusive of the territories, who have traditionally been boxed out regardless of the party in the majority,” said Amata. “This has been one of my top priorities since first being elected in 2014,” continued the Congresswoman.
The Committee of the Whole, abbreviated for Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, is a parliamentary device in which the entire House of Representatives are considered one congressional committee. The presiding officer (Chairman) is chosen by the Speaker of the House and is usually reserved for a member of the majority party who does not hold the chair of a standing committee.
“Any victory for the territories we can get is welcomed, and this small yet significant increase in our level of participation in House business will help us continue to bridge that gap as we move forward,” concluded Amata.