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Amata updates constituents at August town halls

Some of the participants at Amata's well attended Atuu town hall meeting Tuesday included Fono Rep. T. Moliga, Pulenu'u Omar Shalhout, Leoo Ma'o from the Senate, the CCCAS Atuu's Rev. Minister, and other village members and leaders. [courtesy photo]
Source: Media release, office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Aumua Amata this week updated American Samoans at several town halls regarding the activities in Congress over the past few months, and took questions and discussed the issues that are most important to them.

“It was such a pleasure to be home this week and see familiar faces, and especially to talk to people about the issues they care about most,” Aumua Amata said. “Our town halls were well attended and enjoyable, and so many are very interested in what is going on in Washington and how it affects them.”

This week, the Congresswoman held three town halls in Atu’u, Tafuna and Masefau, and also hosted an informational meeting for veterans’ healthcare. Among the many topics she discussed the town halls are the following issues:

            •           Ongoing efforts to remove fishing restrictions in certain waters to improve economic opportunity,

            •           The continued priority of achieving better medical access for veterans through “telehealth” connections with doctors in Honolulu and elsewhere,

            •           The recent successful increase to the American Samoa Government Operations Account appropriation,

            •           The recent renaming of the VA clinic in Pago Pago to Faleomavaega Eni Fa’aua’a Hunkin VA Clinic in honor of the former Congressman, who represented American Samoa for over a quarter of a century in Congress.

            •           The efforts to improve Medicaid funding for American Samoa and the territories, and the recent news that the Medicaid eligibility changes in October from 200 percent of Federal Poverty Level to 400 percent, allowing more people to gain these services.

“I take every opportunity to help my colleagues in Washington understand our challenges of economic and geographic isolation,” Amata continued. “I believe we’re making progress, and we’ll keep working on improvements, such as improved infrastructure, better access to healthcare, and enhanced services for our veterans. As we move forward in the 115th Congress, it is essential that I hear from people here at home, so I can carry their message to Washington.

“Their input is so important to the work we do, which is why I hold these town-hall discussions.  I could not be more proud to represent American Samoa in Congress, and I’m also eager to return after the August work period and keep up the focus on the important work of the people,” concluded Amata.