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Project critical to meet military buildup needs

SAIPAN, CNMI (The Marianas Variety, July 5, 2010) – GUAM is one step closer to receiving the $50 million appropriation under the supplemental budget act for the modernization of the Port Authority of Guam.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed H.R. 4899, the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The Senate considered the bill on May 27, and passed H.R. 4899 with an amendment by a vote of 67 – 28 that also included $50 million in funding for the Port of Guam.

"The $50 million in infrastructure funding for the Port of Guam reaffirms this Congress’ commitment to ensuring that Guam is prepared for the realignment of forces in our region," Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo said.

The Senate-passed bill provides a total of $45.5 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2010, of which $37.12 billion is provided for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill also provides $5.1 billion for FEMA disaster relief, $2.9 billion for Haiti, $162 million for the Gulf Coast oil spill, and over $600 million for other domestic needs in discretionary appropriations.

H.R. 4899 also includes $50 million in funding for the Port of Guam. Specifically, the provision authorizes the Department of Defense to transfer $50 million of operations and maintenance funds to the Port of Guam Improvement Enterprise Fund established by a provision authored by Bordallo in the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009.

This funding was made available at the request of President Barack Obama and was strongly supported by Bordallo.

Additionally, the House passed an amendment to H.R. 4899 that adds $10 billion for an Education Jobs Fund, $4.95 billion for Pell Grants, $701 million for border security, $142 million in additional Gulf Coast oil spill funding, and $50 million in emergency food assistance. This measure, with the House amendment, now moves back to the Senate for their final consideration before it is sent to President Obama for his signature.

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