HOUSE PASSES HOMELAND SECURITY BILL;

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

 

NEWS RELEASE July 28, 2002

TERRITORY PROVISION INTACT, SAYS GUAM’S UNDERWOOD

Congressman Robert A. Underwood reported Saturday that the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5005, which would establish a Department of Homeland Security, with a provision that defines Guam and the other U.S. Territories as "states."

The amendment was introduced by Underwood and passed in the House Armed Services Committee on July 11, and would ensure Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia receive full benefits, equal to that of the 50 states, provided through this major legislation.

Despite the lack of such an amendment in S. 2452, the Senate version of the Homeland Security bill, Underwood is confident it will be passed with the law, because the same provision was present in the Bush Administration's "National Strategy for Homeland Security" report, unveiled the week before last in Washington, D.C.

"The president has already recognized the importance Guam and the territories in the security of the nation, as has the House Select Committee on Homeland Security," Underwood said. "I am confident the provision will remain intact when it goes into joint conference committee."

When passed, the amendment would guarantee that information, intelligence, and analysis produced and gathered by the Department of Homeland Security is shared with the territories, and would make certain that public advisory notices issued and infrastructure vulnerability assessments conducted by the Department include the territories, Underwood said.

Border control measures implemented, regulations promulgated, policy formulated, communication facilitated, and comprehensive planning will be for the benefit of the territories as well as the states.

The Senate is expected to act on their version of the bill, S. 2452, this week.

Joseph E. Duenas Special Assistant Office of Congressman Robert A. Underwood, M.C. Guam District Office 120 Father Duenas Ave., Suite 107 Hagåtña, Guam 96910 Phone: (671) 477-4272 Fax: (671) 477-2587

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