Congressional Delegation Visits Guam and Hosts Historic Field Hearing Supporting U.S. Military Strength and Addressing PRC Aggression
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 24, 2023 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
Tags: Indo-Pacific Task Force
Yesterday, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) led a historic bipartisan delegation to the Island of Guam.
"Guam's importance to America's national security cannot be overstated. Less than 2,000 miles away from here lies a threat to freedom and self-determination in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The CCP not only seeks to challenge American leadership but is also aggressively working to undermine the democratic values and institutions that we hold dear. The recent PRC hacks in Guam shows that Guam is on the frontlines of the fight against this threat. It was an honor to be here in Guam to hear from local leaders and communities and to celebrate America's unrivaled military strength in the Pacific." - House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
"This is certainly a historic moment for Guam, as we have not had a Congressional hearing on island for more than a decade. The fact that the House Natural Resources Committee has approved the request to conduct one is certainly significant, as it places Guam on the Congressional map when it comes to priorities. Our team has worked hard to ensure our issues are addressed, and having members physically see and hear our concerns first-hand will certainly go a long way. Guam’s proximity becomes even more valuable to the United States of America with the rise of concerns coming from the Chinese Communist Party. There have been numerous instances where they have tested their limits with Guam by hacking into the infrastructure of American military bases, operating their warships near our waters, and the illegal entry of Chinese nationals embarking on our shores from the CNMI. I want to thank my colleagues in Congress for recognizing Guam's importance and seeing us as a community, not merely an island with military installations." - U.S. Rep. Jim Moylan (R-Guam)
During their time in Guam, members met with Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, members of the Guam National Guard and other local officials and citizens. Members received high-level briefings from military officials on the island and heard from local business leaders about the challenges they face on the island.
While in Guam, Westerman also held a historic full committee hearing to highlight the malicious and aggressive actions of the People's Republic of China and underscore the importance of a strong U.S. military presence in the region.
Recent actions by the PRC have shown increasing aggression in the Indo-Pacific. Guam has been targeted specifically as Chinese vessels come near its shores and the military installations face cybersecurity threats. The field hearing was a chance to hear from community stakeholders and local leaders in Guam about how their community is uniquely at risk from PRC aggression. Members also learned from experts in the field on how America's military superiority can keep this aggression at bay. Witnesses included Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Governor Arnold Palacios and Governor of Guam Lou Leon Guerrero.
During his time as chairman, Westerman has prioritized strengthening America's presence in the Indo-Pacific region during his time as chairman with the creation of the bipartisan Indo-Pacific Task Force. The committee and the task force are conducting oversight on issues facing the U.S. Pacific territories and Freely Associated States in the Indo-Pacific region. He is leading a congressional delegation (CODEL) of nine members to the region to see these issues firsthand and hear from local communities to further understand the threat of the PRC under the Chinese Communist Party.
Members joining Chairman Westerman on the CODEL:
Indo-Pacific Task Force Chair Amata Radewagen (R-American Samoa)
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