Washington D.C. – The Obama Administration has issued a statement of support for a provision in the Senate version of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA] authorizing the transfer of Marines from Okinawa to Guam.
But the Administration’s policy statement is also critical of another provision in the Act which would put restrictions on the use of Japanese funding meant to help pay for the move of Marines to Guam.
The Senate version of the 2013 NDAA is being considered on the Senate floor this week. If it passes, a Conference Committee will be called to reconcile the Senate and House versions.
In response, Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo has issued a statement applauding the Administration’s “strong support for the military realignment” from Okinawa to Guam.
And the Congresswoman joined the Administration in objecting to the restriction on the use of Japanese funding saying “any further obstructions in obligating and executing these funds send the wrong message to our allies in the region and to Japan, which has already made a significant investment in the relocation of U.S. Marines.”
The relocation of a contingent of Marines from Okinawa to Guam “is in the best interests of our national security,” says the Congresswoman, “and our bilateral relations with Japan.”
READ Congresswoman Bordallo’s statement below:
Statement on Obama Administration’s Support for Guam Military Construction Funding in FY13 NDAA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 29, 2012 – Washington, D.C. –
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today issued the following statement in response to the Obama Administration’s Statement of Administration Policy regarding S. 3254, the Senate version of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13 NDAA). The bill is being considered on the Senate floor this week, and Conference Committee will commence if the Senate bill passes.
The statement includes strong support for the military realignment of U.S. Marines on Guam and objects to a provision of the Senate bill, Section 2208, which places limits on the ability of the Department of Defense to obligate and execute U.S. and Government of Japan funding for the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. The House-passed FY13 NDAA, H.R. 4310, contains language that would repeal some of these onerous provisions.
“This statement from the Obama Administration reinforces what I have long said—that it is in the best interests of our national security and our bilateral relations with Japan to restart, in earnest, the military realignment of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “We are at a critical time in the buildup, and further obstructions in obligating and executing these funds send the wrong message to our allies in the region and to Japan, which has already made a significant investment in the relocation of U.S. Marines. Moreover, while the Navy’s recent announcement in awarding a task order for a realignment-related project was a positive step, there are still a number of concerns in the Senate regarding overall costs. I appreciate the Administration’s support, and I hope that the Senate will take this into consideration as they consider the defense bill this week and as we move into Conference Committee. Further delays mean higher costs over the long term and greater risk to our security interests in the Asia-Pacific region.”