FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ----
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior approved a fiscal year 1998 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. Compared to the current year, this is level funding for the operations of ASG, and a $4 million increase for construction projects.
"The Subcommittee acted as anticipated with regard to American Samoa, and no changes are expected. The action is consistent with the 1995 agreement on territorial funding," said Faleomavaega.
"This is not to say that all is smooth sailing for the bill, however," continued the Congressman. "This year's disputes are over funding to purchase two tracts of land adjacent to Yellowstone and Redwoods National Parks, which the Democrats consider part of the budget agreement between President Clinton and the Congressional leadership. The other high profile point of contention is funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which the Republicans want to close down and Democrats want to continue to fund. While the legislation will more than likely be the subject of heated debate, our funding looks firm and there does not appear to be strong support for shutting down the government as there was in 1995," concluded Faleomavaega.
The next step for the Interior Appropriations bill is consideration by the full Committee on Appropriations. This meeting is scheduled for June 26th.