DELEGATE UNDERWOOD RE-INTRODUCES

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

 

NEWS RELEASE January 31, 2001

GUAM WAR RESTITUTION AND TAX EQUITY BILLS

Congressman Robert A. Underwood today introduced his Guam War Claims Review Commission Act and Guam Foreign Investment Equity Act, with high hopes for passage in this new congress. Both bills passed the House but not the Senate in the waning days of the 106th Congress.

"I've been working with the Senate on the creation of a war restitution commission, and hopefully, the Senate will hold hearings on this sometime soon," the Congressman said, adding that the new bill would establish a federal commission to review relevant historical facts, determine eligible claimants and eligibility requirements, and come up with the amount necessary for compensation. It also addresses concerns raised last year.

In his floor speech introducing the bill, Underwood said, "Legislation regarding Guam war restitution has been introduced by every Guam Delegate to Congress, beginning with Guam's first Delegate Antonio Won Pat, and including my predecessor, General Ben Blaz. The measure I introduce today is a careful compromise that incorporates many Congressional and Department of Interior recommendations that have been made over the years."

Congressman Underwood also reintroduced the Guam Foreign Investment Equity Act, which was originally contained in the Guam Omnibus Opportunities Act, now P.L. 106-504. The act, which would provide foreign investment in Guam to be taxed at the same treaty rates as the 50 states, was removed after the Treasury Department expressed opposition.

"The bill I am introducing today incorporates changes recommended by the Treasury Department to ensure that foreign investors cannot simultaneously benefit from tax rebates under Guam territorial law. During the 106th Congress, I also worked closely with the House Resources Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Interior Department, the Treasury Department, and the White House National Economic Council. I am hopeful that all of the progress that was undertaken on this issue last year will continue, and that the Congress and the Bush Administration will move quickly on this legislation this Congress," the Congressman said in his floor speech.

"This is particularly critical legislation at this time, inasmuch as the Bush Administration has proposed wide-ranging tax cuts. I believe the revenue picture in the Government of Guam, at least for the next couple of years, will be significantly affected in a negative way by these proposed tax cuts," he later said.

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: guamtodc@mail.house.gov 

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

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