Guam – A congressional delegation led by South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson met with island leaders today during a two day visit to the island.
Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo assured lawmakers that the military buildup would happen but said that Guam needs to speak with one voice and Congressman Wilson assured them that he would be an ally for Guam in it’s push for both the buildup and the China Visa Waiver.
South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson and Guam Democrat Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo met with the legislature this afternoon. Both said they were confident that the military buildup would happen and both pledged their continued support of it. “The buildup is gonna happen it will happen it’s just that it’s going to be downsized and we all know that already but I have met with a number of people secretary work with the Department of Defense and others and other military officials and leaders and they have all said it will happen,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “I will be backing up any way I can the people of Guam your representation however we can be positive in bringing the marine corps and expanding their presence here on the island,” said Congressman Wilson.
However, both Wilson and Bordallo admitted that the current financial climate of the United States makes moving forward with funding the buildup difficult. Congresswoman Bordallo stressed that Guam must speak with one voice on the buildup. “You know I’m talking about different groups opposing and so forth and I think if we can just get together compromise little bits of them talk it over move forward with one voice and we’ll get it. But right now the budget over there is so difficult you know,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. Senator Judi Guthertz countered saying that Guam has no control over DOD’s incomplete master plan and the marines lay down plan.”How can they complete their master plan when we object to this area for training and that area for training?” replied Congresswoman Bordallo.
Senator Respicio asked Bordallo, “When you said that we should speak with one voice who were you directing that comment towards?” Bordallo replied saying “I wasn’t directing it to this group but we have fringe groups out here.” Respicio responded saying, “Okay mam for the media’s benefit I didn’t want to give the media an opportunity to have a headline ‘Bordallo to Legislature Speak With One Voice.’” “No, no, no,” replied the Congresswoman. The CODEL came to Guam as part of their review of the U.S. strategic posture in the Asia-Pacific region.