Washington D.C. – Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo has softened her criticism of Senate Armed Services lawmakers, despite continued build-up spending cuts in their just-proposed FY ’15 Defense bill.
Bordallo was sharply critical of her Senate counterparts in recent years’ Defense budgets. Not this year.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is again proposing to ban use of U.S. and Japan funds to realign Marines from Okinawa to Guam, until the Pentagon completes a build-up master plan.
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And the panel would eliminate, in its National Defense Authorization Act, almost 81-million for the Office of Economic Adjustment, civilian projects related to the transfer.
But with a keen eye on her wins in the House-passed NDAA that lifts remaining restrictions on U.S. and Japan build-up spending, authorizes new funding, prioritizes the realignment, and includes the Ritidian Surface Danger Zone, Bordallo says, “We need to sustain this progress.”
Bordallo says, as she awaits the full-text of the Senate Committee-passed NDAA, that the proposed Senate spending cuts and restrictions are “due in large part to the fact DoD has still not provided a Master Plan to Congress, something she urges it to do in time for this NDAA.
And she says there’s a “pending economic adjustment committee meeting.”
But Bordallo also notes, the Senate Appropriations Committee “fully funded” Guam’s $128-million dollar FY ’15 military construction budget, as did House Appropriators.
And the spending for facilities at Andersen Air Force Base is also in the house-passed, NDAA.
Separately, the Senate Appropriations bill includes key Guam missile defense ‘report’ language. It says “the Committee urges PACOM to include robust, permanent ballistic missile defense, particularly on Guam.”
The accompanying bill report goes on: “The temporary deployment of the THAAD battery to Guam is a positive first step, but given the planned U.S. military build-up on Guam, a permanent missile defense capability is needed.
The House NDAA calls for a review of requirements needed to keep THAAD on Guam.