Guam will receive some $400 million in Department of Defense funds this fiscal year for civilian and military projects directly related to the buildup, according to Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which includes the appropriations, was signed yesterday by President Barack Obama.
The island government will realize a total of $126 million for water and wastewater projects, of which $106 million was previously appropriated but held back for years due to objections in the U.S. Senate led by Sen. John McCain. The current law added an additional $20 million to the pot for the same purposes.
On the military construction side, $272 million will inject a flurry of activity as the foundation of the Guam military buildup progresses in preparation for the transfer of Marines from Okinawa to Guam.
“This year’s NDAA gives our service members the authorities and resources they need to carry out their missions around the world,” Bordallo said in a media release. “Importantly for Guam, it continues the progress that we have made to provide resources for civilian infrastructure priorities and military construction relating to the Marine realignment from Okinawa to Guam.”
She added, “These are important milestones for the realignment and it helps to fulfill the federal government’s commitment to ensuring that the buildup is good for Guam’s civilian population as well as the DoD.”
In October, Obama vetoed an initial FY16 NDAA measure.
In a statement from the White House, Obama explained his action. “The bill that the Congress originally presented to me was not acceptable,” the president said.
“Following my veto of the previous bill, the Congress approved and I have signed into law the ‘Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015,’ which revises discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 by providing significant relief from sequestration for both defense and nondefense priorities. The agreement in place helps ensure that relief from sequestration is paid for in a balanced way,” said Obama.
“The Congress has now revised the National Defense Authorization Act to incorporate these new funding changes and has altered the funding authorization provisions to which I objected. I am therefore signing this annual defense authorization legislation because it includes vital benefits for military personnel and their families, authorities to facilitate ongoing operations around the globe, and important reforms to the military retirement system, as well as partial reforms to other military compensation programs,” the president said.