CONGRESSMAN UNDERWOOD FROM GUAM OPPOSES MILITARY COMMISSARY

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

NEWS RELEASE June 29, 2001

PRIVATIZATION

 

As ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Panel, Congressman Robert A. Underwood today said he will oppose Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's suggestion to privatize military commissaries.

Rumsfeld appeared before the House Armed Services Committee today to explain the Department of Defense (DoD) budget for Fiscal Year 2002, and among the proposals he advanced was for a study to privatize the commissaries.

"It was a startling proposal, and he proposed that they actually do this with a couple of commissaries run by the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps," the Congressman said. "This is a bad idea. And it is a bad idea because commissaries are seen as a benefit by everyone in uniform and the eligible population.

"Were the commissaries to be privatized, only those that are profitable will be snatched up by private industries. Those that are not, will be left to public support. And the commissaries that would suffer the most would be those that are overseas, including Guam. Currently, the commissaries are basically self-sustaining. If they were to be privatized, we would not be able to recapitalize them in the way that we currently do. The system is not broken and I don't see any need to 'fix' it," the Congressman said.

"As the ranking member of the MWR Panel, which overseas commissaries and exchanges, I've indicated in very strong terms my objections to this and I am going to work very closely with (MWR) Chairman (Roscoe) Bartlett, of Maryland, to make sure that this very bad idea doesn't come to fruition," Congressman Underwood said, adding that Congressman Bartlett has already publicly stated his own objections to the proposal.

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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