Washington D.C. – House Republicans have rejected a bid by Guam’s Madeleine Bordallo to include Guam war claims in the 2012 defense authorization bill.
A frustrated and upset Bordallo took to the House Well to criticize Republicans, after the House Rules Committee Tuesday, refused her request to include long-sought Guam war reparations.
Bordallo was so angry, she publicly berated a Republican Rules Committee member, Rob Bishop of Utah, managing the debate rule for the Defense Authorization Act. “My friend Mr. Bishop voted for this amendment in the last Congress. And I want to thank him. But I can’t imagine how he could have had such a change of heart, in such a short time.”
Bordallo, her voice rising, was exasperated. “All I want, and all we want, is a vote, Mr. Speaker. In fact, I do not understand why my Republican colleagues are so concerned about allowing my amendment for a vote on the floor, as is regular order. Guam war claims has passed this House, five-times. I have to repeat that, five-times. And each time, with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
Bordallo again called resolving the war claims issue, “critical to maintaining support for the military build-up.” She argued “It’s only right” that war claims is brought to a conclusion, since Guam will bear the brunt of the military realignment, the extent of which is now also in question.
Bordallo said Senate Armed Services Chair Carl Levin and top Republican John McCain have agreed to include war claims in this year’s DoD bill, but now the House is blocking that, as Senate fiscal conservatives did, last year.
And when the Congresswoman tried to force the issue on the House floor by demanding a vote, Republican Bishop objected, effectively ending the bid.
“I have a great deal of sympathy for the gentlelady from Guam, and on the Resources Committee, where that bill still is, I will work with you on that. But I do object to unanimous consent.”
Still in the DoD bill, removal of a 33-percent Navy voting share on the CCU, $367 million for Guam military construction projects, and $33 million for Guam infrastructure improvements.
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