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Capitol Hill News

Congresswoman Aumua Amata with Chairman Chabot of Colorado. Yesterday, Amata released prepared remarks to the Small Business Committee regarding small business tax reform and American Samoa’s employers. [photo: courtesy]
Source: Media release, office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata


Congresswoman Aumua Amata released prepared remarks to the Small Business Committee regarding small business tax reform and American Samoa’s employers.

“It’s a privilege to raise awareness in Congress about American Samoa’s local economy and the circumstances of our small businesses,” Aumua Amata said. “My Statement to the Small Business Committee highlights a specific way in which the tax code treats small businesses in American Samoa differently, and how that could be a disadvantage to growth.”

“Right now, tax reform is a major topic in Congress, and my priority is to see that upcoming changes in the tax code are made with an understanding of American Samoa’s economic realities,” Congresswoman Amata continued. “This hearing is an important topic, and I will continue my outreach to other Members of Congress to ensure they understand the impact of reforms on American Samoa.”

Today’s hearing was titled, “Small Business Tax Reform: Modernizing the Code for the Nation’s Job Creators.” The Congresswoman’s full Statement to the Committee on Small Business is below:

Talofa, Good Morning. I want to thank the Chairman and Ranking Member for holding this important meeting on tax reform. Over 95% of businesses located in my home of American Samoa are small businesses. On top of all the other issues that small businesses in American Samoa face is that the IRS treats businesses incorporated in the territories as foreign companies – which creates a perverse incentive that discourages territorial small businesses from expanding to the mainland.

All five territories are facing severe crisis – from natural disasters to economic collapse. Growth of small businesses can ensure sustainability and reduce the volatility of the territories.

My hope is that we can work together to promote small business growth in the territories – and encourage a change to the tax code that would incentivize and not deter small business growth in American Samoa, CNMI, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the USVI.


Congresswoman Aumua Amata voted in the markup and passage of nine bills by the Natural Resources Committee.

“I’m pleased with the opportunity to support my colleagues in these bills that make a difference in various regions of the country, each dealing with specific concerns that have come up,” said Aumua Amata. “The issues that develop in each district may look a little different from place to place, but ultimately coming together to address problems in this way is always worthwhile work. I congratulate each of these sponsors on passage of legislation to solve a need in these areas.”

The House Natural Resources Committee today passed the following bills, and more information about each is available on the Committee’s website:

H.R. 210 (Rep. Don Young of AK), To facilitate the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing Federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands, and for other purposes. "Native American Energy Act".

H.R. 424 (Rep. Collin Peterson), To direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules relating to listing of the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and for other purposes. “Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017”.

H.R. 717 (Rep. Pete Olson), To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require review of the economic cost of adding a species to the list of endangered species or threatened species, and for other purposes. “Listing Reform Act”.

H.R. 1274 (Rep. Dan Newhouse), To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require making available to States affected by determinations that species are endangered species or threatened species all data that is the basis of such determinations, and for other purposes. “State, Tribal and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act.

H.R. 1488 (Rep. Peter Visclosky), To retitle Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as Indiana Dunes National Park, and for other purposes. "The Indiana Dunes National Park Act".

H.R. 2600 (Rep. David Young of IA), To provide for the conveyance to the State of Iowa of the reversionary interest held by the United States in certain land in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, and for other purposes.

H.R. 2603 (Rep. Louie Gohmert), To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that nonnative species in the United States shall not be treated as endangered species or threatened species for purposes “Saving America’s Endangered Species Act" or the "SAVES Act".

H.R. 2897 (Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton), To authorize the Mayor of the District of Columbia and the Director of the National Park Service to enter into cooperative management agreements for the operation, maintenance, and management of units of the National Park System in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3131 (Rep. Bill Huizenga), To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to conform citizen suits under that Act with other existing law, and for other purposes. "Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act".