October 22, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PAGO PAGO ---- AMERICAN SAMOA FARES WELL IN
FY99 FINAL BUDGET BILL
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that American Samoa received $33 million in federal funding for government operations and CIP's in the FY99 omnibus appropriations bill. CIP funding remained at the current high level and government operations remained unchanged.
"I am again pleased that in these times of budget cuts we were able to hold our own in Interior Department Appropriations. With $23.1 million for government operations and $10.1 million for CIP's, the territory should be able to operate in balance and continue to improve its infrastructure," said Faleomavaega.
"As previously reported, the Senate Appropriations Committee had proposed a cut of $230,000 in the funding of government operations, but the House version prevailed," continued the Congressman. "The Senate prevailed in restricting the use of $2 million in CIP funding until a debt repayment plan for the Hawaii hospitals is in place and a system of managing off-island referrals has been established. Given Governor Tauese's prompt resolution of debts owed to two of the Hawaii hospitals, and his willingness to address the remaining debt, I do not anticipate that this restriction will be in place for the entire fiscal year. The other $8 million in CIP's will be available to ASG as soon as it signs a grant agreement with the Department of the Interior and submits the necessary documentation on how the funds will be used."
Appropriations for the Department of the Interior totaled $14.1 billion, which was $4 million less than the current year, and $168 million less than that proposed by the President. The appropriations were part of a 4,000 page omnibus bill and conference report, the printed version of which weighs 40 pounds and stands 18 inches high!