Date: September 30, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- FALEOMAVAEGA
ANNOUNCES STATUS OF FY98 FEDERAL FUNDING FOR AMERICAN SAMOA
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that FY98 federal funding in support of the operations of the American Samoa Government will be sent to Samoa on schedule, and should be available on October 1st or 2nd, despite the failure of majority party in Congress to pass an appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior.
"While the annual amount of funding for American Samoa has not been in doubt, there has been some concern as to when the funding would be available. Given our local government's precarious financial position, I know that the timeliness of the monthly transfer of funds is important," said Faleomavaega.
"Congress and the White House have agreed to fund the operations of the federal government for 23 days through interim legislation, and the Department of the Interior has agreed to transfer funds for a full month's operations later this week," continued the Congressman. "I want to thank the Office of Insular Affairs for their efforts to obtain the approval necessary to transfer the monthly allocation as quickly as possible."
There are two contentious issues to be resolved in the Interior Conference Committee. One is funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (some Members of the House want to stop funding the agency while the Senate approved funding at $99.5 million). The second issue is $700 million in the Senate bill, but not the House bill, to purchase environmentally-sensitive land near Yellowstone National Park and the Headwaters National Forest in California.
"The conferees began meeting today, and it is expected that the Interior Appropriations bill will be signed by President Clinton before October 23rd, at which time $33 million in the bill for Samoa will become available pursuant to federal law," concluded Faleomavaega.