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CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE May 12, 2000

Congressman Robert A. Underwood hailed today's passage of H.R. 701, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, by the House of Representatives as great news for Guam, as the bill holds $2,848,916 for Guam.

"This is landmark legislation and has undergone a long process," the Congressman said, adding that he was involved in the process when the bill was referred to the Resources Committee a few weeks ago. "The good news is that Guam will receive more than $2.8 million for a variety of purposes --to contribute to the development of a conservation plan for Guam, for wildlife conservation and restoration, historic preservation, restoration of degraded lands, and to deal with some public health issues."

The bill's funding source, he said, comes primarily from revenues generated from offshore drilling and similar the exploitation of resources on the outer Continental Shelf. "Guam doesn't contribute to this funding source, but because we have a coastal area, we're able to get a little bit more than most communities. So this is good news legislation," the Congressman said. The legislation will now go to the Senate where it is anticipated to encounter some opposition "but we certainly hope for its passage and that Guam will see some needed funds to help with our conservation efforts," Underwood said.

Among the purposes listed, Guam is slated to receive $948,635 for land and water conservation, $704,225 for historic preservation, $575,647 for development of a coastal conservation plan, and $330,452 to fund incentive programs to promote the recovery of endangered and threatened species and their habitats.



Congressman Robert A. Underwood said Guam's military construction funding and Fena memorial provision survived today's Armed Services Committee mark up of the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2001 authorization bill.

"This is an annual exercise of the Armed Services Committee, in which we deal with the operations of the entire Department of Defense," the Congressman said. "We were able to make sure that Guam's military construction budget of $37 million remained intact and that the funding for the construction of a memorial at Fena ($50,000) is included in this year's authorization. Sometime next year we'll have a monument to honor the people of Guam who were massacred at the Fena Cave."

Additionally, Congressman Underwood threw his support behind several provisions added in committee. Among these was one on which he and Congressman Neil Abercrombie's (D-Hi) worked on together to include. "We were to offer a little relief to military personnel for some of the problems associated with pet quarantine," he said, adding that he has received numerous complaints from military personnel who, by Guam law, must put their pets in quarantine for up to four months upon arriving in Guam. Pet quarantine is not unique to Guam, he said, and it is costly for military personnel who are assigned to areas with quarantine laws. The provision would allow up to $275 to help defray the costs, which could run into the thousands. "It's a quality of life issue and this provision offers a little relief to make their lives a bit easier," he said.

Congressman Underwood also worked to include Guam and the other territories in a requirement for DoD to prepare a report on missile development in North Korea. "As North Korean missile development continues, we want to make sure that we understand what threat these missiles pose to the U.S. There's no specific evidence of threat to any specific area, but if they're going to do a study on the possible effects on the U.S., then at a minimum Guam should be included. I raised that point in the full Committee and they're going to change the language to make sure Guam is included in that threat assessment," he said. "This is important because when people don't think about us, we have to remind them. I was happy to have had the opportunity to remind them."

The Senate is currently working on its version of the DoD authorization bill.

For additional information, contact: Cathy Gault at 671-477-4272

Washington office: 2418 Rayburn Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: 202-225-1188 Fax: 202-226-0341 Email: 

Guam office: 120 Fr. Duenas Ave., Ste 107 Hagatna, GU 96932 Tel: 671-477-4272 Fax: 671-477-2587

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