U.S. Senate passes NDAA with $326 million for Guam buildup

She says she's disappointed the Senate didn't ease H-2B restrictions on workers to build the funded facilities

 

Washington, D.C. – Guam's Delegate to the U.S. Congress, Madeleine Z. Bordallo, has announced that the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, by a vote of 85 to 10. The Senate version authorizes $716 billion in national defense spending for the coming fiscal year.

 

The Senate bill includes over $300 million in Guam military construction projects supporting the Marine relocation, Navy base upgrades, and Andersen Air Base housing improvements. The bill builds upon provisions supported by Cong. Bordallo in last year’s national defense bill, authorizing new military funding to help cleanup per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances contamination at formerly used defense sites and help public utilities like the Guam Waterworks Authority ensure safe civilian drinking water sources. Bordallo worked to ensure that Guam sites, including Guam National Guard sites, are included and eligible for this environmental cleanup funding from the U.S. military under the bill.

 

“I am glad to see bipartisan support in the Senate for the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act," Cong. Bordallo said. "The Senate has largely agreed with the Guam military construction spending I secured in the House last month (H.R.5515). This funding is critical to the Marine relocation to Guam and ensuring our island’s defense capabilities remain among the best in the world. More military construction spending and new funding to clean up contaminated sites and ensure safe drinking water on Guam are wins for our island. However, I am disappointed that the Senate did give adequate consideration to Guam’s workforce shortages, particularly our off-base construction and healthcare workers. I am working to ensure that my Senate and House colleagues understand the importance of extending H-2B visa relief for Guam this year, and I will work to resolve this matter when the House and Senate meet in conference.”

 

“I will continue to hold the Navy and Department of Defense accountable to their commitment to the people of Guam to hold less land at the conclusion of the Marine relocation than presently. It is important to me that the list of lands the Navy expects to return to GovGuam be made available to the public. I expect the military to return more land faster and consider our petitions for additional land parcels to be returned to Guam families.“

 

“I look forward to working with my Senate and House colleagues over the next several weeks during conference to get our Guam priorities enacted into law this year.”

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