CONGRESSMAN UNDERWOOD FROM GUAM

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

 

NEWS RELEASE June 29, 2001

 

REINTRODUCES HIS
INSULAR AREAS OVERSIGHT AVOIDANCE ACT

In light of the President's tax cut and education plans, Congressman Robert A. Underwood today reintroduced legislation to require the Office of Management and Budget to consider the impact of executive branch initiatives and proposals on the insular areas. Entitled "The Insular Areas Oversight Avoidance Act," the bill was first introduced in the 106th Congress.

"This act attempt to solve a series of problems and conditions that we continue to face -- and that is that every time a legislative initiative or a proposal of any sort emanates from the White House, and sometimes completed here in the Congress, only subsequently are the territories included," the Congressman said. "And when we make inquires about it, we usually hear things like, 'It was an oversight,' or 'We didn't mean to ignore you; we didn't mean to not consider your concerns or situations.'"

The bill was first introduced almost as a tongue-in-cheek means to draw attention to the inconsistent treatment of the territories. However, in light of the President's tax cuts and education initiatives, which Bush Administration officials admitted did not consider the economic conditions in the insular areas, need for the legislation has turned serious, he said, adding that it is co-sponsored by the other territorial delegates who will be joining him in lobbying their colleagues to support it.

"To make sure that oversights don't happen again, this legislation says that the Office of Management and Budget, which is like the referee for budgetary and legislative initiatives for the administration, would have to issue a statement on each initiative indicating how it would affect the territories and whether or not they are getting state-like treatment, and if they're not getting state-like treatment, to explain why," Underwood said.

"This legislation is significant. It would reshape the way insular areas are dealt with by the administration," he added. "And it would go a long way toward resolving many of our needs. Sometimes there are good reasons to leave us out, and we don't always want to be included, but we want to have some thinking applied to the process, and we certainly don't want to be left out simply as result of an oversight. We need careful attention; we need deliberative attention and I believe this act provides the opportunity for that," the Congressman 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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