by Nick Delgado
Guam - Guam war claims was the focus during today's hearing with the House Armed Services Committee in the nation's capitol. Committee Chairman Ike Skelton recognized the importance of ensuring survivors of the World War II occupation of Guam are well compensated, as he pointed out Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo's efforts to get the legislation moving forward.
The Guam War Claims legislation passed the House twice, but failed to make this fiscal year's final National Defense Authorization Act after the Senate had some objections to the measure.
Skelton hoped to address the areas that were objected, but not without updated information that would help have the Guam war claims considered in the future. While Skelton also hoped the existing United States obligation on the matter is addressed, discussions also touched on how the Guam war claims matter might impact the marine relocation from Okinawa to Guam.
Also in attendance at today's hearing was Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta, former Guam War Claims Review Commission chairman Mauricio Tamargo, Guam senators Ben Pangelinan and Frank Blas Jr., and WWII survivor Tom Barcinas.