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Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo

Representing the People of Guam

House Passes FY19 NDAA Conference Agreement

July 26, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Conference Agreement on H.R. 5515, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, by a vote of 359-54. The agreement authorizes $648 billion for the Department of Defense and defense-related programs with an additional $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds for war operations and other anti-terror activities for a total of $717 billion.  


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The conference agreement fully authorizes $448.5 million for military construction projects on Guam to support the ongoing progress of the Marine realignment including $75.6 million for X-Ray Wharf Improvements. The bill fully authorizes $141 million for a machine gun range with half authorized to be spent in fiscal year 2019. (See the full table below)

The agreement builds on authorizations in the FY 2018 NDAA and provides further flexibility for the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services to administer the H-2B visa program on Guam. Specifically, the agreement further extends the 2018 NDAA’s exemption from the temporary work requirement until December 31, 2023.  Additionally, it further allows for the admittance of healthcare workers to Guam through the H-2B visa program to augment the increased need for skilled healthcare supporting the buildup at medical facilities that jointly serve members of the Armed Forces, dependents, and civilians on Guam. Congresswoman Bordallo further built on this provision earlier this week in introducing H.R. 6480, the Guam Temporary Workforce Act, which would give the Governor of Guam more control over the temporary labor determination process by providing him with authority determine the need for temporary workers in Guam’s civilian labor market. Congresswoman Bordallo’s bill would also provide the Governor with the ability to safeguard the local economy from an overreliance on temporary workers.

Congresswoman Bordallo also makes permanent in federal law the Department of Defense’s “Net-Negative” land return commitment. The “Net-Negative” commitment requires the military to hold less lands on Guam than it did when the buildup started. Furthermore, Congresswoman Bordallo’s provision establishes a formal process by which the Governor of Guam can formally request additional land previously held by the military in addition to those already outlined in law.

Congresswoman Bordallo also secured language to support the Guam and U.S. ship repair industry by preventing the Navy from redeveloping of the Former Ship Repair Facility in Guam for any purpose other than a depot-level ship repair capability.

“I am proud of the bipartisan support of this bill to ensure that our military has the funding and authorization to deter, prepare for, and if necessary, fight and defend our nation’s interests. This bill includes key provisions important to Guam that support the Marine relocation while keeping the military accountable to its commitments to our people. Importantly the bill makes permanent the military’s promise to hold less lands on Guam and improve transparency by publically listing all properties it expects to return to GovGuam.  

“This bill further addresses Guam’s labor crisis by providing USCIS with greater flexibility to approve H-2B visas for Guam construction projects related to the relocation and necessary healthcare workers necessary to support our community. This is in addition to a bill I recently introduced that would give the Governor of Guam greater authority to determine Guam’s temporary labor needs and so that visa applications for projects that support all civilian needs can be approved. The people of Guam need this workforce relief to meet the growing labor demands of our entire community.

“I am pleased that the FY19 NDAA moves forward with investments needed for the Marine relocation, including over $448.5 million in military construction for Guam. This bill makes important progress to advance our security, support the realignment, and grow our economy in a way that is responsible and good for our people.”

Fiscal Year 2019 Military Construction Authorization for Guam

Service

Project

Cost

Navy 

ACE Gym & Dining

27,910,000

Navy

Earth Covered Magazines

52,270,000

Navy

Machine Gun Range

141,287,000

Navy

Region Marianas Ordnance Ops

 22,020,000

Navy

Unaccompanied Enlisted Housing

 36,170,000

Navy

X-Ray Wharf Improvements (Berth 2)

 75,600,000

Air Force

Hayman Munitions Storage Igloos MSA 2

 9,800,000

Family Housing

Guam Replace Anderson Housing PH III

 83,441,000

 

 

448,498,000