Eni Faleomavaega

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Eni Faleomavaega


Eni F. H. Faleomavaega has been representing the territory of American Samoa in the United States Congress since 1989. Re-elected in November, 2008 to an eleventh term by the people of American Samoa, Faleomavaega is the longest serving and only Samoan in the U.S. Congress.[1]

He is married to Hinanui Bambridge Cave of Tahiti and they have five children and five grandchildren.[2]

Education

Faleomavaega holds a Master of Law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston Law School. He also holds a BA degree in Political Science and History from Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah and an AA degree from Brigham Young University at Laie, Hawaii.[1]

Career

Faleomavaega served as Staff Counsel to the late far left Congressman Phillip Burton of California who was then chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks and Insular Affairs. He also served as Chief of Staff for Paramount Chief A.U. Fuimaono who was American Samoa’s first elected Representative to Washington, DC from 1973 to 1975.

Faleomavaega was Lieutenant Governor for American Samoa from 1985 to 1988. Prior to this, he was Deputy Attorney General for American Samoa from 1981 to 1984.

Faleomavaega served in the U.S. Army and is a Vietnam Veteran (1967-1968). He served in the Army Reserve where he was a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He was also a proud member of the 100 Battalion 442 Infantry Reserve Unit, Honolulu, Hawaii.[3]

Committees and caucuses

Faleomavaega is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Natural Resources.

Faleomavaega is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere which has oversight and jurisdiction over countries including Central and South America and Canada.

Faleomavaega is a member of the Congressional Asia Pacific Caucus. He is Vice Chair of the Army Reserve Component of the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus. He is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the Congressional Oceans Caucus, and the Congressional Native American Caucus.[4]

DSA endorsement

In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed Eni Faleomavaega, AS At Large, in that year's Congressional elections.[5]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 1998 Eni Faleomavaege Democrat was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[6]

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

In May 2013, Eni Faleomavaega was listed as a member the Executive Board of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.[7]

The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First

Eni Faleomavaega is on the list of Congressional Representatives who have participated in hearings/briefings since 1998, with the very radical Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Policy Studies) and Joseph Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), authors of the book "Food First".[8]

Cuban UN meeting

Faleomavaega addressed the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24), Havana, Cuba, May 23, 2001; [9]

I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, Your Excellency Julian R. Hunte, and the members of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24) for the formal invitation extended to me to participate in this session of the Special Committee. My compliments also go to the leaders and the Government of Cuba for their hospitality in hosting these meetings.

Spoke at "Historical Symposium Regarding Nuclear Disarmament"

As Ranking Member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Faleomavaega spoke about opposition to nuclear testings in the South Pacific and praised the government of Kazakhstan for its commitment to nuclear disarmament. Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former Senator Sam Nunn were only other members of Congress selected to speak at this historical symposium.[10]

In the summer of 2005 Eni Faleomavaega visited Almaty.

During that visit, I toured Nunn-lugar projects and visited with Kazakh leaders about future opportunities for cooperative threat reduction.

I toured the Kazakh Science Center for Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases, a biological research facility located in one of the city's residential neighborhoods. The Center has 135 staff members and 50 years of experience in the identification, handling, control and treatment of dangerous, naturally occurring microbes that cause anthrax, tularemia, plague, and brucellosis.
The facility is working on treatments for Tuberculosis, plague, and other dangerous diseases, not only for Kazakhstan, but for all mankind. We are creating cures arid helping people throughout the world. The Nunn-Lugar Program has worked to improve the security surrounding the facility, installed alarm and accounting systems, and improved the protection and control in storage areas. Today the facility is working closely with experts here in the United States and elsewhere to address mutual threats from dangerous diseases and pathogens.
I also had good discussions with Kazakh leaders on plans to dismantle a former nuclear weapons storage bunker at Semipalatinsk so that terrorists or rogue nations will not have the opportunity to study and duplicate its design. Let me be clear, this facility does not represent a Kazakh violation of international commitments. Instead, the concern was that the facility would provide would-be terrorists with valuable intelligence and insight into the design of such facilities. I am pleased to announce that the U.S. and Kazakhstan have agreed to eliminate this dangerous facility and the potential threat it poses to the security of operational Soviet-designed storage facilities elsewhere.[11]

C.H. Tung meeting

Organized by Committee of 100, former Hong Kong Chief Executive C.H. Tung, now vice-chair of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and chairman of a foundation promoting Sino-American relations, was in the U.S. spring 2008 for ten days, including three days in Washington, DC.

At his request, the Committee arranged a number of meetings for Tung with American opinion leaders. Among those he met were David Brooks, New York Times; Margaret Warner, PBS NewsHour; Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS), Chairman of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

In addition, Committee of 100 organized a breakfast with Ambassador Stapleton Roy, chairman of the Committee of 100 Advisory Council. C-100 Chairman John L. Fugh and Cheng Li, who sits on the C-100 Issues Committee, attended several of the meetings.[12]

China trip

Faleomavaega speaks at Peking University

U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32), Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus led the first ever CAPAC Congressional delegation to the People’s Republic of China, in September 2011. The primary purpose of the delegation was to promote U.S. exports and improve the U.S.-China relationship.

“This trip was a historic first for our caucus, and an important opportunity to build a more productive relationship between the United States and China,” said Chairwoman Chu. “With China’s growing presence in the world, we must develop a strategic approach to our U.S.- China relationship that moves beyond the rhetoric of fear and ignorance. While we may have legitimate differences and concerns, we also face shared challenges and economic fates that are closely intertwined. Through this trip, we were able to promote mutual understanding, explore increased trade opportunities, and develop key relationships that can benefit both nations moving forward.”

Chairwoman Chu was accompanied by CAPAC Executive Board Members Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15) and Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (AS).[13]

Pro-China

In 2000, U.S. lawmakers publicly accused the China Ocean Shipping Co. of being a front for espionage and blocked plans to expand its Long Beach, Calif., port terminal over fears that Chinese spies would use it to snoop on the United States.

By 2009, Congress was seeing the state-owned Chinese behemoth in a far kinder light. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) authored a resolution applauding the company for employing thousands of Americans and helping keep the waters of Alaska clean. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) hailed the firm on the House floor, calling its chief executive "a people's ambassador" to the United States after it rescued Boston's port -- and thousands of jobs -- when a European shipping line moved out.

Some legislators who used to be considered firmly in Taiwan's camp now lean toward China.

Del. Eni Faleomavaega, a nonvoting, 11-term member from American Samoa, is the influential chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment and for years was considered a solid backer of Taiwan.

But over the past year, the Democrat has watered down or killed pro-Taiwan legislation and resolutions.

Faleomavaega partly credited China's improved lobbying for the shift. "Our friendliest allies -- Germany, Great Britain, France and Japan -- know how to work the system," he said. "China is just trying to catch up."[14]

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

In the early 2000s, Faleomavaega was unanimously elected as Vice-Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus . Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Daniel Akaka, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Congressman Ed Case, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, Congressman Xavier Becerra, Congressman Bobby Scott, and Congressman Mike Honda were among those who unanimously voted.[15]

Vietnam "Agent Orange" support

Members of the US congress and the US Department of State showed their support for Vietnamese "victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin" during a visit to the US by a delegation from the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin.

The visit was made from November 22 to December 4 2010 at the invitation of the US’s Veterans for Peace organization and the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign also based in the US.

The Vietnamese delegation met with the leaderships of the VFP and VAORRC to discuss assistance for AO victims and future cooperation, "especially when commemorating the 50th anniversary of the start of the dioxin war against Vietnam on August 10, 1961".

They also met with congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary under the US House of Representatives, congressman Eni Faleomavaega, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment under the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the US House of Representatives, and US Representative Bob Filner.

These US congressmen expressed their support for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange and welcomed VAVA’s efforts to assist the victims. They stated that the US administration must attach more importance to settling the aftermaths of dioxin in Vietnam.

Mr Faleomavaega said that he regretted not having done enough for the victims in Vietnam and called on both the US and Vietnamese government to take responsibility and address the problem.

During the delegation’s meeting with representatives from the US Department of State, the US side confirmed that the US Department of State gives a high priority to solving the dioxin issue in Vietnam.[16]

During the meetings, the Congressmen showed their support for Vietnamese AO victims, praising the VAVA for its effective activities to help the victims.

They also affirmed that the US administration must treasure the addressing of the consequences of AO in the relation between the two countries.

During the meeting with the US Department of State, the Department of State affirmed that the addressing of AO issue in Vietnam was a care and priority, according to delegation leader Lieutenant-general Nguyen Van Rinh.

He also said that the VAVA and the VAORRC would actively work with the US Congress and Government to have greater help for Vietnamese and American AO victims as well as for purifying toxic chemicals in hot areas in Vietnam.

The two organizations came to a joint declaration on increasing cooperation for justice for Vietnamese AO victims.[17]

Vietnam visit

Eni Faleomavaega, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Dec. 2012

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reiterated that Vietnam hopes to boost the friendship and cooperation with the US on the basis of respecting each other’s independence and sovereignty and contributing to peace and stability in the region. At a meeting with visiting US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, a member of the US House External Relations Committee in Hanoi on December 19, 2012, the Prime Minister said he hopes US Congressmen will continue increasing exchanges between the two legislative bodies and the two peoples and support the negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Faleomavaega promised to call on the US Congress to increase budget for the decontamination and supporting Agent Orange/ dioxin victims. The US Congressman said he supports peaceful solutions to territorial disputes in line with international laws including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. He acknowledged Vietnam’s achievements in ensuring and promoting human rights and the rights to freedom of religion and belief. He agreed on the need to objectively approach the human right issues based on accurate information taking into consideration of cultural, historical, and traditional features and level of development.[18]

While receiving Eni F.H. Faleomavaega in Hanoi on December 19, Dung appreciated the Congressman’s substantial contributions to Vietnam-US relations over the years.

Faleomavaega has conducted hearings on the impact of Agent Orange/dioxin on Vietnamese people’s health and the environment, and demanded that the US government provide more assistance to dioxin victims.

Dung expressed his hope that US congressmen will increase exchanges between the two countries’ legislative bodies and peoples to promote mutual understanding, and develop economic, trade, investment and science-technology ties, as well as supporting current negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Faleomavaega confirmed that he will continue lobbying US Congress to increase budget for dioxin clean-up efforts and assistance to dioxin victims living in contaminated areas.[19]

Central Asian connections

In February 2012, Eni Faleomavaega, celebrated 20 years of US-Uzbekistan relations (PDF), during the course of which, he sang Uzbekistan’s praises.

Today, Uzbekistan has managed to make significant progress in every field including politics, economics, and international relations. Working to build a foundation based on established legislative, executive, and judicial branches of power, Uzbekistan is transitioning to democracy and, in so doing, is raising its unique historical heritage and national identity.

Various media in Uzbekistan picked up on it. It was and broadcast by the Foreign Ministry’s Jahon Information Agency and has been reported in several other outlets. Both Olam.uz and UzInform emphasize that the statement goes into the Congressional archive and that it’s distributed to every member of Congress.

Ferghana News noted that Faleomavaega was the first US Congressman to visit Uzbekistan following the Andijon massacre and that he received an award from President Nazarbaev in 2007 for fostering friendship between the US and Kazakhstan.[20]

Nobel Peace Prize for Nazarbaev?

In August 2012 Faleomavaega called for Uzbekistan's Nursultan Nazarbaev to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Last year we have already celebrated the 20th anniversary of the brave step made by President Nazarbayev. At the parliament meeting on March 7, 2012 the people of the Marshall Islands adopted a resolution calling to award President Nazarbayev with the Nobel Peace Prize in commemoration of the victims and the survivors of the nuclear tests. President of the Marshall Islands noted that by then the Nobel Committee had awarded only those who inspected nuclear tests sites or talked about the necessity of cooperation. That’s why I join the people and the parliament of the Marshall Islands and call everyone to do the same today and get the Nobel Committee to grant this honor to President Nazarbayev,”

Congressional Caucus on Central Asia

Faleomavaega in Kazakhstan

Delegate Faleomavaega is one of the co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Central Asia. That caucus was created as part of a contract between the Government of Kazakhstan and Policy Impact Communications. The Project on Government Oversight last year said that Faleomavaega stands out in Kazakhstan’s efforts to lobby Congress.

One Member of Congress, Delegate Eni Faleomavaega from American Samoa, a co-chair and driving force behind the creation of the Central Asia caucus, particularly stands out. In the 2010 election cycle, two of Faleomavaega’s top organizational contributors had been under contract with the Republic of Kazakhstan: Employees and family members from Policy Impact Communications, the lobbying firm hired to create the Central Asia caucus, contributed $4,800, making the firm Faleomavaega’s second largest organizational contributor; and another firm, Steptoe and Johnson, which is the Republic of Kazakhstan’s outside counsel, contributed $2,000 through its Political Action Committee. In a long, forceful defense of his relationships with Kazakhstan and Policy Impact, Faleomavaega said,

As for Central Asia, I will continue to do everything I can to support this part of the world, including serving as co-chair of the Caucus, because, having been subjected to Communism, the people of Central Asia have lived without basic freedom for over 100 years. In my meetings with the people and leaders of these countries, they, like us, want democracy and it is my intent to do what I can to help them as they move forward.[21]

Honorary Board Asian American Action Fund

Circa 2013, Eni Faleomavaega served on the Honorary Board of the Asian American Action Fund;[22]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Faleomavaega's website: Biography (accessed on Aug. 16, 2010)
  2. official congressional biography, accessed August 4, 2011
  3. official congressional biography, accessed August 4, 2011
  4. official congressional biography, accessed August 4, 2011
  5. Democratic Left, July/August 1996, page 21
  6. DSA website: Members of the Progressive Caucus (archived on the Web Archive website)
  7. Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus website, accessed May 1, 2013
  8. [ http://www.foodfirst.org/es/about/staff, Food First staff page]
  9. [http://www.house.gov/faleomavaega/speeches/undecolonization.html, STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ENI F. H. FALEOMAVAEGA, BEFORE THE UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DECOLONIZATION (C-24). HAVANA, CUBA, MAY 23, 2001]
  10. Faleomavaega speeches
  11. [ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r109:E18JY6-0023:NUNN-LUGAR EXPANSION Congressional Record 109th Congress (2005-2006)SPEECH OF HON. ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA OF AMERICAN SAMOA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TUESDAY, JULY 18, 2006]
  12. Arranges Meetings with Journalists, Diplomats, and Officials for Hong Kong’s C.H. Tung Posted on May 8, 2008 by admin — No Comments ↓ May 2008 | By Tovah LaDier and Jane Leung Larson
  13. CAPAC Press release, CAPAC Chair Judy Chu Leads Historic First Caucus Congressional Delegation to China Sep 12, 2011
  14. The Washington Post January 9, 2010 Saturday Suburban Edition, As China rises, so does its influence on the Hill; Increased lobbying, growing role in U.S. economy yield new warmth from Congress BYLINE: John Pomfret SECTION: A-SECTION; Pg. A01]
  15. Faleomavaega speeches
  16. US congressmen support Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims, Voice of Vietnam News 12/06/2010
  17. Vietnamese AO victims receive great support in the US, BaoMoi.com
  18. talkvietnam, PM receives US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, Posted on December 19, 2012
  19. Vietnam Breaking News, December 20, 2012 by vietnamnet
  20. Registan, US Rep. Provides Fodder for Uzbek Media, by Nathan Hamm on 2/24/2012
  21. Registan, Eni Strikes Again, by Nathan Hamm on 8/30/2012
  22. American Action Fund