Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Faleomavaega a No-Show Again

The House Asia-Pacific subcommittee today held a session to adopt two resolutions on China and Burma to send the full Foreign Affairs Committee for consideration and the panel's most senior Democrat, American Samoa Delegate Eni Faleomavaega was absent. Watching the live telecast by computer, it also was curious that when the subcommittee chairman concluded his opening remarks, he turned to the Ranking Member (most senior member of the Minority) for remarks, as is customary. But when he said "Ranking Member" it was California Congressman Ami Bera who took to the microphone. Bera thanked Chairman Chabot and Mr. Faleomavaega (who he did not call Ranking Member) and gave his remarks without any further reference to the Samoan delegate. Later in the session, Democrat Brad Sherman also made reference to Bera as Ranking Member. It is unclear to us that if the actual Ranking Member is absent if the next most senior Democrat takes on the title for the hearing or if some sort of internal displacement of Faleomavaega is taking place. No reasons were given for his absence and he is still listed on the Committee's website as Ranking Member of the subcommittee.

If Samoa News could devote space in their paper for the text of remarks Faleomavaega did not even deliver to some cocktail reception for an American Indian organization that has no relevance to American Samoa, then one would hope Samoa News or other news organizations would take some time to find out what has happened to Faleomavaega. A simple request to the AP Washington bureau to ask the subcommittee about Faleomavaega's absence might suffice. Maybe no one cares. Checking the on-line version of the story this week about no one knowing what has happened to Faleomavaega, not a single reader had any comment. And so it goes.

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