Guam – Senator John McCain is taking aim at Guam build-up projects in a stopgap budget resolution to fund the federal government after March 27th.
McCain leveled a blistering attack on Guam and other spending in the stopgap measure the House passed last week and Senate Democrats are trying to take up and finish before earlier funding runs out in two-weeks.
HEAR Matt Kaye’s report HERE>>>03-13 mccainslamsguprojectsagain.mp3
McCain demanded more time to review the 587-page bill that includes $106-million for Guam water and wastewater treatment plant upgrades, and $13-million for a regional public health lab, neither included in the FY 2013 Defense Authorization Act.
McCain is the top Republican on Senate Armed Services, that authorizes military funding and writes the NDAA. He fumed, the money was not supposed to be given to Guam until key conditions are met.
MCCAIN: “Until such time as we have developed the strategy for the base realignment in guam…we had debate and discussion and authorization of, and we specifically prohibited it.”
Why, McCain demanded, at a time of government-wide sequestration?
MCCAIN: “So, here we are. We have had to not deploy an aircraft carrier, because of sequestration. We have had to cut down on flying hours. We’ve had to reduce maintenance. We’ve had to make all kinds of tough decisions, as to the men and women who are serving, and the equipment and operations and maintenance.”
McCain tangled with Senate appropriators in 2011 for trying to fund Guam school buses, a cultural artifacts repository, and a mental health substance abuse clinic.
McCain’s committee nixed both the water and wastewater treatment plant upgrades and the regional public health laboratory in the 2013 NDAA only to find them now in the house must-pass stopgap bill.
Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo on House Armed Services, has repeatedly tried to save build-up projects, only to run headlong into McCain’s opposition in the Senate.
A frustrated Bordallo said in the last Congress she was “amazed” at some of McCain’s statements on the build-up, that she pointed out were “not consistent with his previous stance on infrastructure funding for Guam.”