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Community Briefs

Amata speaks out in support of the VET Act earlier this summer outside of the U.S. Capitol Building.  [courtesy photo]
compiled by Samoa News staff



Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded a grant in the amount of $150,000 to the American Samoa Government for Pago Pago International Airport. 

 “I am pleased that the FAA has recognized a need for these safety measures at our local airport. These updates to the safety systems will help bring our airport into the 21st Century,” said Amata. These repairs and additions will make travel to and from American Samoa easier and safer, hopefully leading to increased air traffic on island,” continued Amata.

Specifically, this grant will fund the development of a Safety Management System (SMS) manual and implementation plan for American Samoa’s only international airport.  

 “Again I want to thank the FAA and its officials for awarding these grant funds, which are greatly needed.  I also want to thank Dr. Claire Poumele, Director of the Department of Ports Administration in American Samoa, and her staff, for their efforts in obtaining these funds for our island,” concluded Amata.


Pago Pago — Congresswoman Aumua Amata, is preparing to return to Washington this week, as Congress returns for one of the final legislative sessions of the 114th Congress.

“While it is always a pleasure to be home and hear directly from the people of American Samoa, exactly what is concerning them most, and what our greatest needs are, I know that Washington is where I can best serve,” stated Amata. “I look forward to hopefully seeing a few more of my bills cross the finish line in the next few weeks, and signed into law by President Obama.”

In the remaining weeks of September the House will meet for legislative business, and the Amata is looking to see her bill, H.R. 4576, the Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act, which will help to ensure access to Pacific waters for the local fishing industry, pass through the House and Senate and sent to the President’s desk for signing.

Amata is also looking forward to seeing her language to ease local cabotage regulations, which prevent new carriers from utilizing local air traffic routes in American Samoa, included in Senator Murkowski’s Territories Omnibus bill out of the Senate and through the House. The Congresswoman’s language would ease the red tape and burdens imposed on outside carriers, by allowing them to apply for a waiver every 6 months instead of the current 30 days.

She also continues to work to assist our veterans to obtain the benefits and services they have so rightfully earned. “I chose my committee assignments very carefully when I was first elected to represent the people of American Samoa,” stated Amata. “My position on the House Veterans Affairs Committee allows me to take part, first-hand, in the policies and laws that directly affect those who sacrificed so much for our nation, and I will continue to do all I can to make sure that our veterans here at home are given those same benefits and services as their counterparts in the states.”

Work continues in the House Committee on Small Business, where she is working to ensure that local small businesses have access to all Small Business Administration (SBA) programs and benefits, including issues such as EB-5, and loan programs for the islands small businesses.

 “Time moves fast in Congress, and you need to do all you can in that short period of time to ensure that you are representing those who elected you to your full ability,” Amata said.