National GOP calls for equal citizenship for U.S. territories

AUGUST 25, 2017 — In major news, national GOP leaders repudiated the unequal citizenship of Americans living in the country’s territories during a meeting of the Republican National Committee on Friday in Nashville.

The Republican National Committee did so with the passage of a resolution entitled “Affirming the Equal Citizenship for All Americans.” The resolution’s sponsor was the Virgin Islands’ national committeeman, Jevon Williams.

“The Republican National Committee calls upon Congress to ensure that American citizens residing in the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have unfettered enjoyment of their American citizenship, including the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,” stated the resolution.

“All Americans must be able to enjoy the full benefits of their citizenship,” said Williams, who serves in the Virgin Islands Army National Guard. “For too long, Washington has ignored Americans in the territories, a disproportionate number of whom wear the uniform defending the freedoms and liberties that define us as Americans, including basic constitutional rights that are wrongly denied to them.”

The resolution will now be sent to President Donald J. Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Americans in the territories are U.S. citizens, but they do not receive full enjoyment of their citizenship. 

* In addition to being denied both a vote for president and full congressional representation, not all provisions of the Constitution have been extended to the territories. The legal basis for two classes of U.S. citizenship derives the Insular Cases, a series of Supreme Court rulings dating to the late 1890s when some of the territories were first acquired.

The principal author of the Insular Cases legal doctrine was Justice Henry Brown, who also authored the high court’s notorious racist and pro-segregationist ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson.
All 56 states and territories are represented on the 168-member Republican National Committee
by the party chairman, committeewoman, and committeeman.

A copy of the resolution can be found here.
 

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* Editor’s note: American Samoa is the fifth territory, but American Samoans are U.S. nationals, not citizens.

Posted on 01 Sep 2017, 18:10 - Category: Press Releases



National GOP calls for equal citizenship for U.S. territories

AUGUST 25, 2017 — In major news, national GOP leaders repudiated the unequal citizenship of Americans living in the country’s territories during a meeting of the Republican National Committee on Friday in Nashville.

The Republican National Committee did so with the passage of a resolution entitled “Affirming the Equal Citizenship for All Americans.” The resolution’s sponsor was the Virgin Islands’ national committeeman, Jevon Williams.

“The Republican National Committee calls upon Congress to ensure that American citizens residing in the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have unfettered enjoyment of their American citizenship, including the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,” stated the resolution.

“All Americans must be able to enjoy the full benefits of their citizenship,” said Williams, who serves in the Virgin Islands Army National Guard. “For too long, Washington has ignored Americans in the territories, a disproportionate number of whom wear the uniform defending the freedoms and liberties that define us as Americans, including basic constitutional rights that are wrongly denied to them.”

The resolution will now be sent to President Donald J. Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Americans in the territories are U.S. citizens, but they do not receive full enjoyment of their citizenship. 

* In addition to being denied both a vote for president and full congressional representation, not all provisions of the Constitution have been extended to the territories. The legal basis for two classes of U.S. citizenship derives the Insular Cases, a series of Supreme Court rulings dating to the late 1890s when some of the territories were first acquired.

The principal author of the Insular Cases legal doctrine was Justice Henry Brown, who also authored the high court’s notorious racist and pro-segregationist ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson.

All 56 states and territories are represented on the 168-member Republican National Committee by the party chairman, committeewoman, and committeeman.

A copy of the resolution can be found here.
 

###

* Editor’s note: American Samoa is the fifth territory, but American Samoans are U.S. nationals, not citizens.

 

Posted on 25 Aug 2017, 12:05 - Category: Resolutions



First 100 Days of the Trump Presidency

The following editorial by Republican National Committeeman Jevon O.A. Williams on behalf of the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands was submitted to The St. Croix Avis highlighting President Trump's accomplishments in the first 100 days of his Presidency. 

 

Today, April 29th will mark the 100th day of President Trump's Administration. Since the President’s inauguration on January 20th, Democrats have pledged to "resist" the Trump Administration at every turn, which has subsequently brought about some of the nastiest political discourse that my generation has ever seen. Instances, where olive branches should have been extended, were squandered by petty partisan attacks that did nothing but hurt future efforts of bipartisanship. As you are aware, I’ve been very critical of Congresswoman Plaskett for this very reason.

Moving on, Vice President Mike Pence spent the entirety of last week in American Samoa, a U.S. territory represented in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Amata Radewagen, who serves with me as a member of the Republican National Committee, she also joined us for the Centennial celebrations back in March. While in American Samoa, Vice President Pence dedicated a new Veterans Administration outpatient clinic to the memory of the late Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, who passed away in February.

Prior to the dedication of the new Veterans Administration outpatient clinic, Congresswoman Amata Radewagen made the following public statements advocating for benefits earn by the veterans of her district. She said, “We enlist into the United States Armed Forces at a rate higher than that of any other state or territory, something we are very proud of. Our high rate of enlistment means that we also have a high number of veterans who live in American Samoa. Currently, those veterans who need to receive VA medical treatment must fly to Hawaii to see their Doctor”. 

The Congresswoman further stated, “Another reason our veterans must fly to Hawaii to receive VA services is because the only hospital in American Samoa is so run down and lacking in proper equipment and medical professionals, that the VA will not allow anything other than outpatient services for our local veterans to be done at the hospital.” As a combat veteran who has served in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, I can relate the plight of the veterans in American Samoa, for we also have similar woes here in the Virgin Islands as it relates to the healthcare of our veterans. 

Our veterans here in the Virgin Islands are forced to leave the comfort of their homes, their families, and travel, sometimes alone to Puerto Rico, enduring the hardships of navigating the island with limited and most often no proficiency in Spanish. Congresswoman Plaskett, as a combat veteran I ask you, what are you doing in congress to ease this hardship that our veterans endure? It is the time to put partisan politics aside and work with President Trump to improve the lives of our veterans and fellow Virgin Islanders. I implore Congresswoman Plaskett to seek out common ground with President Trump; he has already shown an unprecedented commitment to the Virgin Islands as the U.S. territory celebrated 100 years under the American flag.

If you recall, Trump issued a powerful statement, saying in part: “We thank God for the U.S. Virgin Islands, for its wonderful people, and for making the U.S. Virgin Islands part of the United States of America.” I made the statement below following President Trump’s historic statement on Transfer Day, “The fact that Secretary Zinke chose St. Croix and the Virgin Islands as the first territory to visit speaks volumes about the administration’s commitment to ensuring a better, brighter future for all Americans, including Virgin Islanders,” said Virgin Islands GOP National Committeeman Jevon Williams. “No president and no secretary of Interior have been there for Virgin Islanders like President Trump and Secretary Zinke.”  

Nevertheless, President Trump has delivered on the majority of his campaign promises. He has quickly undone burdensome over-regulation, restored law and order, bolstered our military, revived the American dream, held Washington accountable, and put our American workers first. Not bad for almost 100 days of work. Outside of the Beltway, the everyday Americans who elected Donald Trump President see and feel the promises on which he has delivered. Voters who supported the President in November say they’d do it again today. Donald Trump promised real change for America, and it’s happening.

 

President Trump has made his first 100 days a historic success:

•  Enacted more legislation and signed more executive orders in the First 100 days than any president in a half century.

•  Enacted 28 pieces of legislation, more than any other president since Truman. 

•  Signed 25 executive orders (should be 30 by the end of the month), the most of any 100 days in over 50 years.

•  Achieved the first Supreme Court Confirmation in 100 days since 1881.

•  Instituted tough immigration policies that have driven illegal border crossings to a 17year low.

•  Removed more job-killing regulations through legislation than any president in U.S. history.

•  Estimated savings: $18 billion annually.

•  Economic optimism has been renewed, with consumer confidence reaching its highest level in 16 years.

•  Ordered the toughest new rules to stop the revolving door between Washington lobbyists and government officials in history.

 

Are there any campaign promises that Trump has not yet addressed that you would like to see fulfilled?

Tax Reform.

Why?

The U.S. has the highest statutory tax rate in the developed world, discouraging business investment and job creation. President Trump is proposing the largest tax cut for individuals and businesses in U.S. history. It will simplify the tax code, incentivize investment and growth and create jobs. It will provide historical tax relief for middle-income families and small business owners. An overly complex tax code is confusing and burdensome on American taxpayers.

The last major effort to successfully reform the U.S. tax code was over 30 years ago under President Reagan. Today, according to the IRS’ National Taxpayer Advocate, the federal tax code is nearly four million words long. Congress has made more than 5,900 changes to the federal tax code since 2001 alone, averaging more than one change a day. The National Taxpayers Union estimates that Americans spend 6.989 billion hours at the cost of more than $262 billion on compliance and record keeping costs. Instead of a single tax form, the IRS now 199 individual income tax forms and 235 business tax return forms. Approximately 90% of taxpayers need help doing their taxes.

Currently the corporate tax rate of 35%, U.S. businesses face the highest statutory tax rate in the developed world, and fourth highest effective tax rate, which discourages job creation or investment. The U.S. has to change in order to keep up with our competitors, having the highest corporate income tax rate among the 35 OECD nations and being the only nation that has increased its rate since 1988. Even President Obama agreed lowering the business tax rate to 28 percent would help spur economic activity. 

 

Two more reasons for tax reform:

•  A lower business tax rate will discourage corporate inversions and companies from moving jobs overseas.

•  The high corporate tax rate keeps trillions of business assets overseas rather than being reinvested back home.

 

Are there any campaign promises that stand out in your mind that he has already fulfilled?

There are many fulfilled campaign promises that stand out in my mind. However, the most consequential was his promise to appoint a constitutional conservative to the United States Supreme Court, and he has done so in the confirmation of Associate Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. 

Despite fierce obstruction from the Democrats in the Senate, President Trump was able to garner a significant win in his very short time in office. He appointed a superbly qualified, highly principled jurist to the Supreme Court, one who is truly worthy of replacing the conservative favorite, Justice Scalia. This appointment will serve as one of the most prominent accomplishments of his presidency. 

 

The writer is the national committeeman for the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands. Each GOP state and territorial party is represented on the Republican National Committee by a committeeman and committeewoman.

Posted on 29 Apr 2017, 14:37 - Category: U.S. Virgin Islands Politics



Virgin Islanders react to Trumpís Transfer Day Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(March 31, 2017) — President Donald J. Trump has shown an
unprecedented commitment to the Virgin Islands as the U.S. territory
celebrates 100 years under the American flag.

Trump issued a powerful statement, saying in part: “We thank God for
the U.S. Virgin Islands, for its wonderful people, and for making the
U.S. Virgin Islands part of the United States of America.”

The statement came on the same day that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
was on St. Croix for the Transfer Day commemoration.

“The fact that Secretary Zinke chose St. Croix and the Virgin Islands as the first territory to visit speaks volumes about the administration’s commitment to ensuring a better, brighter future for all Americans, including Virgin Islanders,” said Virgin Islands GOP National Committeeman Jevon Williams. “No president and no secretary of Interior have been there for Virgin Islanders like President Trump
and Secretary Zinke.”


                                                             ###

Posted on 31 Mar 2017, 13:01 - Category: Press Releases



GOP honors first black congressmen and senators

 

A resolution, co-sponsored by Virgin Islands GOP National Committeeman Jevon Williams, honoring the country’s first black congressmen and senators was passed by the Republican National Committee today.

“The Republican Party has always been the party of opportunity and inclusion,” said Williams. “We were founded as the anti-slavery party in 1854.”

The resolution, which Williams co-sponsored alongside North Carolina GOP National Committeewoman Ada Fisher, honors Congressmen Robert B. Elliott, Robert C. De Large, Benjamin S. Turner, Jefferson F. Long, Joseph H. Rainey, and Josh T. Walls and Senator Hiram R. Revels—all of whom were elected from the Southern states after the Civil War.

The resolution also calls on the U.S. Postal Service to issue a Black Heritage series postage stamp in their honor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 19 Jan 2017, 13:41 - Category: Resolutions



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