Today at 10 a.m., Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo will deliver her annual Congressional address in the Guam Legislature’s session hall.
Speaker Judi Won Pat said a concern that she and her colleagues have is whether the military buildup will happen or not, given the March 11 tragic disaster in Japan.
Even with the Government of Japan’s commitment to finance $6 billion U.S. dollars for the move of U.S. Marines from Futenma air base in Okinawa to Guam, the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami will cost that country millions of dollars to rebuild and there may not be enough money to fund Japan’s share.
Coupled with the U.S. Congress slashing the realignment budget, it will be a challenge to figure out how to pay for the moves, the Speaker added.
Won Pat said there are new challenges for Guam in D.C. since the Republicans took the majority in the House.
However, she said the Guam Legislature will continue to work with federal counterparts to achieve the promise of war reparations, an increase in Compact Impact funds, the people’s right to political self-determination, and the matter of the military buildup.
Won Pat said she expects Bordallo to speak on these issues, as well as the Programmatic Agreement which was recently signed by Lynda Aguon, the state historic preservation officer.
Won Pat said the promise of Undersecretary of the Navy Robert Work that the signing would release $1 billion to Guam might be confusing, since the money is for military-buildup related projects only.
But some of this money will come from Japan and the possibility of further funding from that island nation after its recent tragedy could mean the end of providing funds for the buildup.