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    Thursday, February 22, 2018-5:58:39P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Guam’s Bordallo concerned with cuts to Office of Insular Affairs in president’s budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the Guam Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo issued the following statement regarding proposed cuts to the Office of Insular Affairs in the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2019.

The Trump administration proposed an 18 percent cut in funding for Guam and the other U.S. territories from last fiscal year. The administration’s budget requests reduces technical assistance to the territories by $2 million, brown tree snake control by $639 thousand, and Coral Reef Initiative and Natural Resources funding by $296 thousand.

Additionally, the president’s budget request eliminates $3 million in discretionary Compact impact funding, which is in addition to the mandatory $30 million shared by the affected jurisdictions each year. Similar cuts to discretionary Compact impact funding were requested in the previous three budget requests from the president, but each year Congresswoman Bordallo worked successfully with Republican and Democrat appropriators in Congress to maintain this funding.

“I am disappointed the president’s budget makes significant cuts to the Office of Insular Affairs for programs that directly benefit Guam and the other territories. Our communities are already struggling with constrained budgets, and the tax law enacted last year by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration will worsen our local challenges.

“I am especially concerned that the administration continues to de-prioritize Compact impact by eliminating $3 million in discretionary funding. While this is a small amount compared to the overall costs to GovGuam and other affected jurisdictions, it is unacceptable for the administration to propose less funding given the perennial shortfall of federal resources for Compact impact. It also underscores the importance of passing common-sense legislation, like my Compact Impact Relief Act, which could provide immediate help to GovGuam.

“These proposed cuts to the Office of Insular Affairs do not reflect what should be priorities on Guam or in the other territories. I will work with my colleagues in Congress to protect funding critical to our island during the upcoming appropriations process.”