President Donald Trump has signed the federal war claims corrections bill into law.
Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas introduced H.R. 1365 in January 2019 in order to correct what former delegate Madeleine Bordallo and her staff left out of her World War Two Loyalty Recognition Act.
The correction, finally, will authorize the U.S. Treasury Department to actually issue checks to the adjudicated war claims already awarded to the island’s manåmko using Guam’s own section 30 funds, $23 million of which is now being held by the U.S. treasury department for claim payments.
In a statement to the media in reaction to the President’s signing of his bill, Congressman San Nicolas said:
“At a time of such anxiety, on an issue of such gravity, let this symbolize the hope and courage we must have today that our greatest generation displayed nearly 80 years ago. May God bless Guam, the United States, and all people everywhere.”
Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Doug Hoelscher announced the signing in a message to Guam lawmakers saying:
“This is a great milestone for the people of Guam and the President was proud to sign it into law. The first person the White House contacted after the signing was Ms. Irene Beruan who has been a tireless advocate for Congress to fix this long-overdue technical error — she will be receiving the signing pen the President used to sign the legislation.
Again, an important victory for the people of Guam, which is an important part of the American family.”
In reaction to the news Governor Lou Leon Guerrero issued a statement saying:
“We will suspend the local war reparations program and the US Treasury will now be dealing directly with the claimants. We will still process those claims that have already been filed with us.”
Up to this point, under the local war claims legislation, GovGuam has paid out 1,087 adjudicated claims totaling $11.6 million.###