Senate Adopts McCain Amendment Eliminating $120M in Guam Infrastructure Funding; Bordallo Appalled


Washington D.C. – An amendment to the continuing budget resolution which eliminates funding for Guam infrastructure projects has been adopted by the full Senate. The amendment was introduced by Senator John McCain. Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo says she is “appalled.”

$120 million dollars for 2 Guam infrastructure projects was included in the House version of  the Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2013; $107-million for Guam water and wastewater plant upgrades, and another $13-million for a regional public health lab.

When the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the entire funding package and reported it out to the floor Tuesday, Senator McCain rose to condemn the Guam funding.

He said no funds are supposed to be spent on Guam for civilian infrastructure projects until until a strategy for the base realignment has been developed and approved. 

McCain said on the Floor: “Until such time as we have developed the strategy for the base realignment in Guam…we had debate and discussion and authorization of, and we specifically prohibited it.”

The full Senate agreed and voted to remove the funding.

In a release reacting to the move, Congresswoman Bordallo saying she is appalled that “Senator McCain continues to use funding for Guam projects as an example of ‘pork barrel’ spending.” She said his dismissal of the water and wastewater improvements was “egregious and unnecessary.”

 READ the statement from Congresswoman Bordallo below:

Statement on the Senate Adopting McCain Amendment to H.R. 933, the Continuing Resolution for FY13
Amendment Eliminates $120M for Guam Projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 13, 2013 – Washington, D.C. –

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today issued the following statement on the Senate’s adoption of Senator McCain’s amendment that eliminates transfer authority for Guam civilian infrastructure funding to H.R. 933, the Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2013. The amendment passed by voice vote following a failed effort to table his amendment due to procedural concerns.

“I am appalled that Senator McCain continues to use funding for Guam projects as an example of ‘pork barrel’ spending–he dismissed water and wastewater improvements, which are already overburdened by our island’s existing civilian and military populations, as egregious and unnecessary,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “Senator McCain blurred reality in his statements on the floor of the Senate and muddled the importance of this investment. Moreover, Senator McCain insisted on an earmark to CSIS to develop an independent assessment of the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. That very report he so strongly advocated for urged the DoD to support certain civilian infrastructure projects and the authors further amplified this point at a hearing last summer. The authors of the CSIS report indicated there was a historical basis for supporting civilian infrastructure. During a hearing on this report, the authors highlighted the need and precedence for investing in civilian infrastructure projects in places where significant base realignments are expected to occur.

This amendment removes important authorization language that would have allowed the Department of Defense to transfer the civilian infrastructure funds to Guam. I am deeply disappointed that this amendment was included in the Senate’s Continuing Resolution, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to secure authority to transfer these funds that would ensure the Guam and Pacific realignments are prioritized as we consider the defense bill for Fiscal Year 2014.”