WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1540 the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2012 by a vote of 322 to 96 on May 26.The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to begin debate on their version of the defense spending bill by mid-June according to Guam Delegate to Congress Madeleine Z. Bordallo.
H.R. 1540 provides $367 million for military construction projects on Guam and allocates $33 million in federal assistance to Guam for infrastructure improvements as requested in the president’s budget. Service members will receive a 1.6% pay increase and DoD would be required to assess the structural integrity and infrastructure improvements needed for strategic seaports to meet national security and readiness requirements.
Bordallo sponsored several amendments to the NDAA including providing an additional $10 million for operational facilities within the Army National Guard; $983 000 for the Navy Sea Cadet Corps; and $2 million for a study on renewable and alternative energy applications for military installations and operations.
The NDAA fully authorizes all military construction on Guam totaling $367 million. However the fuel systems maintenance hangar project at Andersen Air Force Base will be incrementally funded over two years reducing the actual appropriated funds to $303 million.
The bill eliminates a 33% voting share of the Department of the Navy on the Consolidated Commission on Utilities as part of authority to transfer the Navy’s water and wastewater assets to the Government of Guam.
The bill leaves intact a provision that authorizes the use of unreimbursed Compact-impact funds to off-set the fair market value for the transfer of these assets.