Officials view latest NDAA as another roadblock - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Officials view latest NDAA as another roadblock

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Deliberations continue in the Senate on its version of the Proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. And not only is the Obama Administration expressing concern over funding provisions to Guam, but officials here at home are again calling it another roadblock.

"Our roadblocks are with the Senate," said Mark Calvo. The Governor's Buildup Office director is referring to the senate's latest version of NDAA. While concerned over certain provisions, Calvo says he's not surprised, saying, "It's sad to say, we kind of expected the senate again to have restrictions placed on the funding for the defense act for 2014 specifically to the funding applying to the realignment of marines in Guam and Hawaii."

These restrictions has even raised concerned with the Obama Administration which issued a statement of administrative policy in which "strongly objects to the limitations imposed by Section 2821."

He said, "It is clear and we expected that the president remains supportive of the realignment, supportive of infrastructure funding on Guam to support the realignment and makes light again to the Senate that the restrictions that they intend to put on this year's budget undermines our, the U.S. relationship with allies, specifically with Japan and undermines his ability to be flexible and have a supportive defense posture in this region and probably sends some serious concerns to our other ally forces on this regional stability and our promise to keep things stable."

Not only is the Obama Administration concerned over executing foreign and defense policies, but it further has serious concerns regarding the restrictions on the development of public infrastructure on Guam and the lack of authorization for military construction projects that would directly support the realignment.

Calvo meanwhile is looking on the bright side. "The silver lining around these gray clouds are the fact that the senate is probably ready to pass some funds that will accommodate the buildup shortly before or shortly after the record of decision is signed in 2015," he added.

Calvo meanwhile says the house of representatives has been supportive to the buildup. It was in June when the House passed its version of the FY2014 NDAA including close to $500 million in military construction projects along with authorizing over $100 million for civilian infrastructure needs in Guam. The House's version meanwhile also removed the current restriction to use Government of Japan funds for the military buildup in Guam. 

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo office's clarifies that the Section 2821 does not delay the marine realignment but rather restricts funding provided by the Government of Japan until certain reports are provided to Congress. She says, "By continuing to place onerous restrictions on using Japanese funds for the marine realignment, the Senate bill jeopardizes our commitment to the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific Region." Bordallo further appreciates the Administration's objections to the restrictions and hopes the senate will take this into consideration. 

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