President Donald Trump has signed into law the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which authorizes $648 billion for the Department of Defense and defense-related programs with an additional $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations funds for war operations and other anti-terror activities for a total of $717 billion.
The NDAA authorizes $448.5 million for military construction projects on Guam to support the ongoing progress of the Marine realignment including $75.6 million for X-Ray Wharf Improvements. The law fully authorizes $141 million for a machine gun range with half authorized to be spent in fiscal year 2019.
The law further builds on authorizations in the FY 2018 NDAA and provides further flexibility for the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services to administer the H-2B visa program on Guam. Specifically, the agreement further extends the 2018 NDAA’s exemption from the temporary work requirement until Dec. 31, 2023. It further allows for the admittance of healthcare workers to Guam through the H-2B visa program to augment the increased need for skilled healthcare supporting the buildup at medical facilities that jointly serve members of the Armed Forces, dependents, and civilians on Guam.