WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) met with Assistant Secretary Esther Kia’aina to discuss issues important to Guam and the region. Kia’aina was confirmed by the Senate on June 26, 2014, to head the Office of Insular Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
During the meeting, Bordallo raised a number of issues, including prioritizing Compact impact funding in the Interior’s annual budget submission and providing technical assistance to the territories. She raised the concerns of Guam’s insurance providers regarding possible premium increases from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The congresswoman reiterated the need to work with local policymakers and insurers so that the ACA can be implemented in a way that benefits consumers while addressing concerns raised by insurance providers and stakeholders.
Bordallo also emphasized the need to engage in the interagency process to make progress on extending parole authority to Chinese visitors while addressing security issues. She emphasized the need to expand Guam’s tourism market to mainland China in order to ensure future growth in the visitor industry. The congresswoman also discussed the upcoming Economic Adjustment Committee meeting and urged Kia’aina to work with the Department of Defense to ensure that there is continued interagency support for investments in civilian infrastructure projects to support the buildup.
“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Assistant Secretary Kia’aina as she begins her role as the head of the Office of Insular Affairs,” said Bordallo. “There are a number of pressing issues affecting the territories, and Esther’s leadership will be critical to addressing these challenges with the federal agencies. I look forward to working with her on issues important to our people.”