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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA From American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE November 29, 1999


Congressman Faleomavaega announced that earlier today President Clinton signed the final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2000. American Samoa's funding and the option for a tobacco loan are included.

"I am pleased to report that American Samoa's budget for this fiscal year is now set in law," said Faleomavaega. " The only remaining question is how the 0.38% cut will be applied by the Secretary of the Interior. Although no final decisions have been made within the Department, the current view is that the tobacco provision will not be cut because it is considered a loan, and the CIP funding will not be cut because it is considered 'mandatory' funding. Our operations funding is subject to the cut, but I remain optimistic that any cuts made to that account will be minimal.

"Other good news items include increased funding for teachers, more flexibility on how ASG can use 25% of certain federal education money, and more money to hire police officers," continued the Congressman.

"I regret that one other provision will have a direct impact on many people in American Samoa. All military and federal civilian employees who are scheduled to be paid on September 29th or 30th, 2000 will not be paid until October 1st. This one or two day delay was used to reduce federal expenditures in FY2000, but it will obviously increase expenditures in FY2001," noted the Congressman.

The appropriations bill signed by the President totaled $385 billion, and included appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, Interior, Labor, and Health and Human Services. The judicial branch of government was also included.

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