Guam – Even a scaled-back version of Guam War Reparations is not a sure bet for final passage yet in the US Congress.
It’s an ‘hour-by-hour,’ ‘day-by-day’ situation, unfolding in the House and Senate, as the clock ticks down on the final week or two of the 111th Congress…and on chances for a compromise version of Guam War Reparations—only for living survivors of the Japanese occupation.
Senate Energy top insular staffer Allen Stayman says the Defense Authorization Bill with Guam War Reparations still faces an obstacle course in the Senate, even after the controversial ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal was stripped away—
“There’s the group of what I’m calling the ‘fiscons,’ the fiscal conservatives,” says Staymen, “they hate everything and I’m sure they hate this. And, if they had a chance to block it, they would.”
The original Guam reparations measure sought by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo was estimated to cost some 128-million. Stayman says the recycled language from last year, covering only living survivors–not descendants of those who died in the occupation–would obviously cost much less.
But he adds, Senator John McCain and Armed Services Chair Carl Levin may not even be satisfied with their own compromise of last year—
“Senator Levin said he’d like to get it done this year,” said Staymen,”but that didn’t…it didn’t really resolve what the objections were from Levin’s point of view, and Senator McCain’s point of view…my understanding is, they’re just back to where they were last year.”
It is unclear whether that’s due to cost concerns or other issues surrounding reparations…but McCain, himself a former prisoner of war in Vietnam…is crucial to winning Senate GOP support for passing the DOD bill by unanimous consent, lacking enough time for a full debate now.
Bordallo said in an earlier statement, the fall-back Guam measure is not an ideal situation…however, it is imperative that our manamko’ receive the reparations they deserve.”
She expressed hope the revised version of the fiscal 11 defense bill with Guam reparations could still pass and be signed into law this year.