Congressman Maxine Waters, the chairwoman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, has joined her vice chairman, Congressman Michael San Nicolas, in pushing the federal reserve to include Guam in a program that would open the island to millions in the municipal cash market.
Last week, Mr. San Nicolas grilled Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on his board’s exclusion of Guam from the Municipal Liquidity Facility, which was set up by Congress to help the states and territories to survive the financial fallout from the ongoing pandemic.
The MLF provides the states and territories with low interest loans from the federal government to support operations.
One such area of concern in Guam’s case is the ability for the local government to pay tax refunds. The payment of refunds is happening at a trickle, and has not been as belated as it is now since 2011.
The following is a news release from the office of Congressman Michael San Nicolas:
Echoing sentiments raised by Congressman San Nicolas in a hearing last week with Federal Reserve (FED) Chairman Jerome Powell, Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters followed up with Powell to get Guam and territories access to the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF).
"I deeply appreciate the support of my Chairwoman who explicitly used her time in the hearing to fight for Guam, something not very common for a Chair to do," opened Congressman San Nicolas. "The leadership of the Financial Services Committee is rallying for the people of Guam to gain us some form of liquidity access from the FED, and it seems imminent that this will succeed in some form," Congressman San Nicolas added.
Accessing the MLF will enable Guam to pay out tax refunds much faster, by accessing liquidity from the FED in advance, and paying it back to the FED over time.
"When we secure access to this facility we should see tens of millions in tax refund payments go out fairly quickly, and so many of our people need it," Congressman San Nicolas continued. "Hopefully we can secure this not only for these pandemic circumstances but as a regular process going forward, so our people no longer have to wait as long anymore to receive their tax refunds," Congressman San Nicolas concludes.