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Vice President Pence thanks Amata for VA clinic naming bill

Congresswoman Amata, Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence wave to the crowd gathered at Pago Pago Intl Airport before departing for Honolulu on Air Force II.  [Courtesy photo]
Source: Congresswoman Aumua Amata

Washington, D.C. — During a planeside ceremony unveiling a new sign for VA outpatient clinic in Tafuna, renaming it — the Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin VA Clinic — Vice President Mike Pence expressed his appreciation to Congresswoman Aumua Amata for introducing a bill for that purpose, which quickly passed both the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Trump on March 31.

The President gave Vice President Pence the pen he used to sign the law to bring with him to Pago Pago, which he did. It was presented at the ceremony.

The visit to American Samoa was the final leg of a five-stop trip through Asia and the Pacific, which included Seoul, Tokyo, Jakarta, Sydney and Pago Pago. Before returning to Washington, the traveling party overnighted in Honolulu and held meetings with military leaders there. 

“The Vice President told me on the plane that he regretted having to cut his Hawai’i visit short but the President asked him to return because he intends to unveil his long-awaited tax reform package,” Amata said.

On the trip to Honolulu, the Congresswoman said she told the Vice President that she hoped the visit to American Samoa would remind him that American Samoa and the other territories should be included in any major proposals the Administration submits to Congress, such as those on tax reform, health care, infrastructure and environmental overregulation.

The Vice President's tour of Asia and Australia was geared primarily toward meeting with America's strategic partners in the region, reassuring them that the new Trump administration is giving the region top priority and to bolster economic and military cooperation. After arrival, he said, "It's nice to be back on American soil."

Amata took advantage of being a member of the Presidential Transition Executive Committee chaired by then-Governor Pence and the Vice President's frequent visits to Capitol Hill since, to ask that he come to American Samoa. 

“I wanted him to see first hand the love our people have for this great Nation, as well as help us dedicate the VA clinic to Faleomavaega, with whom he served in the House. He also served four years as a gubernatorial colleague of Governor Lolo," continued Amata, “so that presented a strong case as to why he should honor Faleomavaega.”