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Capitol Hill News

Congresswoman Aumua Amata with philanthropist Lois Pope, and Rep. Lois Frankel.  [photo: courtesy]


WASHINGTON DC - Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 - Congresswoman Aumua Amata was pleased to attend the Inaugural Commemoration of the Day of Honor for American Veterans Disabled for Life at a special ceremony near the U.S. Capitol on their beautiful Memorial grounds.

“American Samoa has the highest rate of enlistment of any U.S. state or territory, and we’re very proud of our veterans and the sacrifices they make,” Aumua Amata said. “Everyone who puts on the uniform of an American service man or woman knows they could be called upon to take great personal risk. This special ceremony specifically recognized those who sacrifice physical health and carry the lifelong scars of their heroic service.”

The event at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial included remarks by Dr. David Shulkin, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs; U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois; U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, who introduced the resolution creating the Day of Honor; Army veteran Paul Rieckhoff; veteran Don Overton; and advocate Lois Pope, who promoted the construction of the Memorial.

The audience also heard an invocation by Military Chaplain Carl Barnes, and singing by the children's chorus of Hoffman-Boston Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, and a Navy Color Guard presented flags.

“Since this Memorial’s dedication in 2014, it has added another beautiful spot to the areas near the Capitol where it belongs,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “I appreciate everyone who worked hard to put on this ceremony, including Secretary of Veterans Affairs Schulkin, the brave veterans, and the charming children’s chorus.”

(Source: Congresswoman Auua Amata Office, Washington, D.C.)


Washington, D.C. – Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 - Congresswoman Aumua Amata introduced legislation to improve job creation opportunities in American Samoa and increase the potential of attracting foreign investors by fixing a gap in the EB-5 Visa requirements that directly affects American Samoa.

“Current law has a significant job creation incentive that ignores American Samoa and U.S. Nationals, in favor of not only citizens but also green card holders, and we need to be included,” said Aumua Amata.

“This is a matter of simple fairness and common sense. Under current law, American Samoa is at a unique disadvantage on the EB-5 Visa job creation incentive, and there’s no apparent reason for this provision to exclude jobs for U.S. Nationals. My legislation would correct the problem and level the playing field for American Samoa,” she said.

Specifically, through the EB-5 Visa program, the law provides an incentive for foreign investors to start a business in the U.S. or U.S. territories if that business will create jobs for ten people. However, those employees are specified as U.S. citizens or green card holders, meaning that – as written – the law that’s in place doesn’t apply the same incentive in American Samoa, where the available workforce is primarily made up of U.S. nationals.

The Congresswoman’s bill, entitled the 'American Samoa Investment Act', eliminates this gap in the law and includes U.S. Nationals in this job creation incentive.

“I want to thank my friends, Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón of Puerto Rico and Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, for joining me in this effort,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “This measure could be an important deciding factor for a future employer. My legislation would promote a fair and reasonable solution, and I am working to get the word out in Washington, D.C.”

(Source: Congresswoman Auua Amata Office, Washington, D.C.)