June 19, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- FY99 INTERIOR BUDGET PASSES HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior has approved a fiscal year 1999 appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior and related agencies. The legislation includes $23 million for the operations of the American Samoa Government and $10.1 million for CIP's, as proposed by President Clinton. The level of funding in these two categories is the same as what ASG is receiving in the current year.
"The Subcommittee acted as anticipated with regard to American Samoa, and no changes are expected in the House. The action is consistent with the 1995 agreement on territorial funding, which is viewed as very favorable to American Samoa," said Faleomavaega.
"Total funding for the bill is $13.4 billion, which is $800 million less than President Clinton requested, and $700 million less than what is being spent this year," said the Congressman. He went on to say that funding for the Forest Service, some Energy Department programs, and education and health programs for American Indians all received significant cuts. Faleomavaega also pointed out that overall funding for the Office of Insular Affairs was cut by $1.3 million. "Given the substantial cuts in other areas, American Samoa has done very well," concluded the Congressman.
"This year's mark-up went relatively smoothly," said Faleomavaega. "The main disagreement in this year's bill is funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The bill contains no funding for this agency, but Democrats have been promised a vote on the floor on whether to fund the NEA."
The next step for the Interior Appropriations bill is consideration by the full Committee on Appropriations. The date for that meeting has not yet been set.