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Debate on 2012 NDAA Begins

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Guam - The House has begun discussion on the proposed final version of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Here's the transcript of Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo's speech on the floor:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to HR. 1540, the conference report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012. If Ii were able to vote on final passage of this legislation, I would vote against this bill. The bill completely ignores the important efforts that this administration has taken to better posture or military forces in the pacific. Furthermore, we undercut efforts, significant efforts by Prime Minister Nota in Japan in trying to achieve progress with the development of the replacement facility.  Am deeply concerned about this bill because there are constant talk in this chamber about recognizing the importance of the Asia pacific region and now we are going in the opposite direction. People discuss their concerns about the potential threats posed by both china and North Korea, yet, when this country and this administration asks the congress to act in our best national interest, to realign blink. Forces in the pacific, we are all talk and no action on this very important issue. I understand the budget realities that we currently face, but we must make the necessary hard choices and investments now or it will cost more money and time in the long run.  That said, it is important for our partners in Japan to continue the progress they are making to begin construction of a replacement facility for Fatima in northern Okinawa.  it's important for the prime minister to continue to show leadership and present an environmental impact statement to the governor of Okinawa by the end of this year. Further, we must have further progress toward the permitting of a landfill so we can finally move forward with this realignment. right or wrong, the patience of those in the senate has run out and it is important for more action and less rhetoric in Okinawa. The cuts to infrastructure in Guam are punitive. this congress has uniformerly stated that infrastructure improvements are needed on guam to sustain any type of military presence. yet, once again our rhetoric does not match our words. Will continue to work to make sure that we get funding to address critical infrastructure needs, and as such, i urge all my colleagues to vote no on this legislation.  And i yield back."

The final proposed version of the 2012 NDAA freezes funding for the military buildup until the Department of Defense submits a master plan to Congress. Initially the measure contained more than $300 million for the Guam realignment that has since been reduced to just over $80 million. In response, media in Japan are reporting the Japanese government is looking to sharply cut expenses for the Marines relocation from Okinawa to Guam. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the 2012 NDAA by the end of this week or possibly today before taking their Christmas break.

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