Bordallo Fights Last-Minute NDAA War Claims Hitch

163

Now House Speaker Paul Ryan also backed the measure in an earlier Congress. 

Washington – The US House was headed toward late-day approval Wednesday of the FY ’17 national defense bill, after Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo cleared up a last-minute ‘hitch’ over Guam War Claims, leading to the amendment’s approval by voice vote.  

 

House GOP leaders first agreed to include Guam War Claims and H-2B visa amendments in en bloc votes, ensuring their speedy passage with other non-controversial riders, voted on in blocks. 

Moments later, Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo’s office says a member of the Republican Study Committee—a caucus of House conservatives—objected to allowing an en bloc vote for war claims, threatening its chances.

Bordallo moved quickly to try to answer the concern, renewing an argument she successfully made to the GOP-controlled House Rules Committee a day earlier, to allow both H-2B visa and war claims, HR 44, on the House floor—

“I would note that HR 44 has passed the House five-times, since the 110th Congress…twice it has passed by a recorded vote.  And I would further note that both votes showed overwhelmingly strong, bipartisan support for this measure.  It also passed three-times, by voice vote, either as an amendment or as a provision, in the defense authorization bill,” said Bordallo. 

Now House Speaker Paul Ryan also backed the measure in an earlier Congress. 

Bordallo also pointed out, war claims for those who died in Guam’s World War II occupation or their survivors, is fully offset with Section 30 funds Guam receives for federal personnel on the island.

Bordallo’s H-2B visa amendment, accepted for an en bloc vote, gives USCIS extra flexibility to renew contractor visas and provide enough workers to deal with delays and cost overruns for Guam build-up construction.

The House NDAA would authorize some $254-million in new Guam military construction, lift all remaining restrictions on Guam civilian build-up funding…help preserve Guam land holdings…boost invasive species prevention…and call for study of a role for the Guam Army National Guard in the THAAD missile defense system.

Actual dollars for NDAA are included in the separate Military Construction-VA bill headed for late-week House approval.