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


NEWS RELEASE October 25, 2000

The Senate today passed a modified version of Congressman Robert A. Underwood's Guam Omnibus Opportunities Act, containing the Guam Land Return Act. The bill now returns to the House, which may pass it as early as tomorrow.

"Today's been a good day. It's a good day for Guam. It's a good day for returning excess land back to our people, and it took a lot of work and a lot of negotiations by a number of people to get the bill into its final form in the Senate," the Congressman said.

"This is a landmark legislation that offers expedited process for the return of federal excess land. It puts the Government of Guam at the head of the line over other federal agencies, and makes sure that we have an expanded definition of public benefit purpose, the kind of definition which exists in the Guam Excess Lands Act, Public Law 103-339."

Of the Omnibus Opportunities Act's original six provisions, four were passed by the House in July. They were the Guam Land Return Act, the Guam Foreign Direct Investment Act, and the betel nut and Compact reports provisions. The provision on Guam's participation in Justice Department programs was passed in the FY01 State, Commerce, Justice appropriations bill. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration lifted its ban on the importation of betel nut for personal consumption, thus making that provision unnecessary and it was removed in the Senate version of the bill.

"They also took out the tax treaty treatment provision, which we're trying to deal with on a separate measure," the Congressman said.

"Because the betel nut provision is out and because it is an amended version, it has to come back to the House for final approval.

"I'm hopeful that we'll be able to work on this in the House, under a couple of parliamentary maneuvers, which we'll be discussing and working on tomorrow morning. But I have the full support of both the Democrat and the Republican Parties in the Resources Committee and, hopefully, we'll be able to move it to final passage tomorrow," Underwood said.

In addition to the Guam Land Return Act, the Senate-passed bill includes the Compact reports and application of federal programs provisions.

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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