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Big cuts to relocation funding

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson vowed this week to scrap funding to Guam for the military buildup; those cuts may have come to pass. As the Senate Committee on Appropriations, which Hutchinson sits on, voted today to cut some $320 million dollars in the FY2011 Defense Authorization Act that would have gone to the marines' relocation from Okinawa to Guam.

According to an article by Kyodo News International the cuts increase the uncertainty about the prospects of the relocation plan.  The report added that the House Appropriations Committee similarly made cuts earlier this week to the tune of some $320 million for the relocation.

Reacting to the cuts, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo issued the following statement: "I am disappointed in the funding cuts made by my colleagues in the Senate.  Despite these cuts, the Congress remains committed to the realignment of Marines from Okinawa to Guam with the construction of a Futenma Replacement Facility.  I believe that these cuts send the wrong message at the wrong time. However, my colleagues and myself do have concerns about the impacts of rushing military construction before the civilian infrastructure is ready to accommodate additional personnel. The cuts are not final and will be a matter for discussion during conference committee."

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