Bordallo Hails Passage of House Bill That Creates Compact-Impact Position at DOI

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Guam – Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo is hailing passage of H.R. 2055 which creates a special position in the Department of Interior dedicated to working on the impact of compact impact issues.

The measure also directs DOI to work with the Freely Associated States to develop plans to reduce the high cost of states and territories incur for providing services to migrants from the Marshall’s, the FSM and Palau.

The provisions in H.R. 2055 were originally introduced this past March by Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye and New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman.Congresswoman Bordallo cosigned a letter expressing her support for the renewed focus on Compact-impact issues.

In a release, Bordallo states that “The Compact provisions contained in this appropriations bill will, over time, help ease the financial burden placed on the Government of Guam, and other affected jurisdictions, moving forward.”

READ Congresswoman Bordallo’s release in FULL below:

Appropriators Act to Improve Implementation of Compacts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 16, 2011 – Washington, D.C. –

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that the House passed H.R. 2055, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2012, by a vote of 296 yeas to 121 noes.  The Senate is expected to pass the bill later tonight or tomorrow to avoid a shutdown of the Federal government.

This bill creates a new position within the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs dedicated to working on Compact-impact issues.  The bill also directs Interior to work with the Freely Associated States to develop a comprehensive plan to mitigate the costs of Compact migration. This plan seeks to better educate migrants and potential migrants that the primary purpose of the Compact migration benefit is to provide educational and employment opportunities to FAS citizens, not for migrants to develop an over-reliance on public services.  The plan would also seek to improve FAS capacity to provide dialysis and other medical services to avoid the need for FAS citizens to seek treatment in Guam or other jurisdictions.  It would also improve screening procedures to identify and restrict migration of individuals who have communicable diseases or who have been convicted of serious crimes.

These provisions were originally recommended to the Department of Interior in a March 2011 letter led by Senator Daniel Inouye and Senator Jeff Bingaman. Congresswoman Bordallo cosigned the letter expressing her support for the renewed focus on Compact-impact issues.

“The Compact provisions contained in this appropriations bill will, over time, help ease the financial burden placed on the Government of Guam, and other affected jurisdictions, moving forward,” said Congresswoman Bordallo.  “Chairman Inouye has been a strong supporter of improving existing law to assist local governments affected by the Compacts, and I thank him for his leadership in including these provisions in this year’s Consolidated Appropriations Act.  I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and all stakeholders to ensure that we meet the U.S. obligations under the Compacts while addressing the burden on our local governments.”