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CODEL welcomed to American Samoa



Rep. Nick J. Rahall, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources drinks his cup of ‘ava, during a traditional Samoan ava ceremony. He is flanked to his immediate left by Congressman Faleomavaega and Congresswoman Bordallo.

Pago Pago, American Samoa (August 5, 2009) – A Congressional Delegation led by U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-West Virginia) was welcomed yesterday by Acting Gov. Fepule'ai Afa Ripley Jr. and a number of government officials and lawmakers at the Pago Pago International Airport VIP lounge in American Samoa.

During his brief remarks upon arrival, Rahall, who last visited the territory in 1975, thanked those in attendance. "We thank you so very much for having us on this trip," he said, noting that they have been working closely with American Samoa Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin for the interests of the territory.

Rahall who Chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, has oversight jurisdiction over the U.S. territories and said the territory is well represented in the U.S. Congress.

Governor Togiola Tulafono, who is in Hawaii for Samoan Heritage Week, sent his regrets since he was not able to be there during their stop.

Accompanying the Chairman on the CODEL are Faleomavaega Eni F. Hunkin (D-American Samoa), Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-Guam), Henry Brown (R-South Carolina), Donna M. Christensen (D-U.S. Virgin Islands) and Gregorio Kilili Sablan (D-Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands).

The CODEL departed American Samoa and will continue to Hawaii, Palau, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands before returning to Washington, DC on August 13, 2009.

Excerpted from a samoanews.com article by Tina Mata'afa