Bordallo questions Zinke on Guam priorities


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) questioned U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke on Friday about key priorities for Guam during an oversight hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee regarding the Trump Administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Bordallo underscored the need for greater federal support to help Guam address the inadequacy of Compact impact and GovGuam’s current budget crisis caused by the Republican tax law.

Bordallo also sought Zinke’s support on behalf of the Trump administration for increased voting rights for Americans living in the territories, as well as for her LWCF Parity for Territories and DC Act.

In response to Bordallo’s questions, Zinke committed to working with her to reconsider the administration’s proposed cuts to discretionary Compact impact grants, and considering supporting the LWCF Parity for Territories and DC Act, which would provide Guam with a state-equivalent share in annual grants from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. 

Zinke also committed to raising with President Trump his administration’s official position on extending full voting rights to residents of the five U.S. territories, which would require a constitutional amendment.

He will also organize an official visit by Trump to this region to meet with the governors of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.

Bordallo continues working to prevent the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts to federal programs important to Guam, as Congress considers the president’s budget proposal.

The Guam delegate also continues working to advance legislation that increases federal assistance to Guam like her Compact Impact Relief Act (H.R.4761), in light of GovGuam’s budgetary shortfall due to the Republic tax law signed by Trump.

“I am encouraged by the commitments Secretary Zinke made [Friday], including that Guam’s priorities will be addressed by this administration. The President’s budget cuts to critical programs on which Guam and the other territories rely are unacceptable, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to protect them.

“As a career Navy SEAL, Secretary Zinke is no stranger to Guam. I again invited him to visit our island. I hope that Secretary Zinke will come to Guam to hear from local leaders and see our challenges firsthand, as part of any official state visit by President Trump to our region,” said Bordallo. (PR)

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