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


NEWS RELEASE August 1, 2002


Congressman Robert A. Underwood reported today that he has recently been appointed a "conferee" in the upcoming conference committee on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, giving Guam and the territories another opportunity for inclusion in defense spending.

Congressman Underwood was one of 17 House Republican and 13 Democrat core conferees appointed to the committee, which is charged with resolving differences between the House and Senate legislation.

In addition to being a core conferee, Congressman Underwood was assigned to sit on four committee panels -- Personnel, Readiness, Sea power, and Strategic -- which would afford him the opportunity to directly influence provisions specific to Guam and the territories, including:

*Amending of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to allow for the uninterrupted continuation of training on Farallon de Medinilla. The provision, adopted by the House at the request of the Department of Defense and supported by Congressman Underwood, is not in the Senate bill;

*Military construction funding for Guam, including $7 million in funding for Phase III of the Guam Army National Guard Readiness Center;

*The unexploded ordnance (UXO) provision secured by Underwood, which would establish a single point of contact in the Department of Defense for addressing these UXO matters and allow for the establishment of an independent advisory board;

*Commissary privileges for the National Guard members activated during a declared "national emergency," as many were immediately after the September 11 tragedy, and;

*The authorization of a Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team for the Guam National Guard.

"I am very pleased to have such direct interaction with the defense budget bill, because it considerably increases the chances that these provisions will be included in the final bill sent to the president," the Congressman said. "I have been successful in having these amendments adopted in the House bill, and I'm ready to work to have them included in the final version."

The conference committee and its panels are expected to meet regularly through September to resolve the differences between the House and Senate defense bills.

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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