FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ----
Congressman Eni Faleomavaega announced that American Samoa's budget for fiscal year 1998 was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 15th with no changes being made. The legislation contains $23 million for the operations of the American Samoa Government and $10.1 million for the construction of capital improvement projects, an increase of $4 million over FY97.
"The House's action was as expected concerning American Samoa's funding," said Faleomavaega. "This is a substantial increase over last year's funding and the extra $4 million should be of some assistance with our much needed CIP funding," he continued.
"Our attention now turns to the United States Senate. The Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to vote on its legislation on July 18th, although early indications are that no one is suggesting changes to Samoa's funding," said the Congressman.
"There still may be some obstacles for the appropriations bill before it is signed by President Clinton," continued Faleomavaega, "the most contentious vote on the bill was a procedural vote which cut all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The termination of the agency passed by one vote, 217-216. It is not expected that the bill will become law unless the NEA is funded, so there will have to be some give and take later in the process. As American Samoa receives limited funding through the endowment, we have a stake in that vote as well." concluded Faleomavaega.