Washington D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo has for a second time this week, declined to press for action on her Ritidian Surface Danger Zone, Marine Firing Range Bill.
PNC Washington Correspondent Matt Kaye reports Bordallo’s blaming GOP objections – more than local ones – and may still pursue her bill.
The freestanding version of HR 4402 that Bordallo declined to offer as part of the National Defense Budget Wednesday, here…was still on the schedule when the House Natural Resources Committee convened Thursday morning.
Chairman Doc Hastings said, “We initially had 3 bipartisan bills on our agenda today…but at the request of the gentle lady from Guam, we will not be considering her bill, HR 4402.”
But Bordallo’s staff says she’s not ‘thrown in the towel’ on the bill and may still pursue it through other legislative vehicles.
The Congresswoman blames Republican objections to the bill language and staff says “pulling back” from Thursday’s mark-up, gives Bordallo more time to work out differences.
Specifically, Committee GOP leaders objected to some of the bill changes Bordallo made to accommodate the DOD Fish and Wildlife service agreement for an SDZ over the Ritidian unit of the Guam Wildlife Refuge.
Bordallo’s staff says “We are not ok with that approach in particular, the GOP is objecting to the requirement of looking for an alternative site for the refuge.”
It was that lack of agreement with Republicans, that Bordallo’s staff says kept her procedurally, from offering an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, the day before not simply local objections.
Though Bordallo did issue a statement Wednesday, after talking with Governor Calvo, local lawmakers and Ritidian original landowners. She suggested she did not offer 4402 as part of NDAA, since the community should have the chance to discuss the issue in public meetings on the Build-up Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.
But Bordallo seems to be hedging her bets, with so much riding on DOD’s preferred site for the firing range. Staff says even without action by the House committees, an amendment could still be offered on the house floor—if that’s the way Bordallo and the local community want to go.