Speaker to ‘forge ahead’ with local war claims bill if no progress made

Speaker Tina Muna Barnes

Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes said she plans to push through with local war claims legislation if progress is not made on Guam war claims in the U.S. Congress.

Bill 181-35, introduced by the Speaker last July, would establish the 75th Guam War Claims Fund that will be administered by the Department of Administration — a fund that anticipates a $7.5 million transfer out of the general fund as authorized by Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.

However, during the Legislature’s budget session, Bill 181-35 was left in the second reading file for further action after Congressman Michael San Nicolas requested to be able to do his job and pass his H.R. 1365 in the Senate.

According to Speaker Barnes, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to reconvene in a week. The following State Work Period, when the Senate will again be in recess, is scheduled for Sept. 30. Should no progress be made by then, Speaker Barnes said she intends to forge ahead with the local effort.

“In the meantime, I will continue to work with the Leon Guerrero/Tenorio Administration, and have been assured that they are working closely with the Trump Administration and the US Senate in order to expeditiously do right by our Greatest Generation,” the Speaker said.