Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has reviewed the budget negotiated on Friday April 8, 2011, by Speaker Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and President Obama, to avoid a government shutdown. Introduced in the House as H.R. 1473, the bill appropriates funds for all federal government agencies for the remainder of FY 2011. Both the House and Senate have already approved and President Obama is expected to sign the full-year continuing resolution into law later today.
“While I appreciate the need to trim the federal debt, which is expected to reach about $15 trillion by the end of FY 2011, I do support selectively cutting spending while investing in areas like education and clean-energy initiatives that hold the potential for long-term payoffs in economic growth. This common sense approach will help rein in spending to within reasonable levels without undermining programs that are vital to job creation and economic development,” Faleomavaega said.
The full-year appropriation, H.R. 1473, includes $38.5 billion in total spending cuts spread across many federal agencies, including Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), Department of the Interior. The OIA budget is reduced by about $1 million for the remainder of FY 2011. Of this amount, OIA spending on assistance to the territories has been reduced from $75.9 million in FY 2010 to $75.0 million in FY 2011.
“The current Congressional budget reductions could have potential impact on key funding areas for American Samoa. For example, Congressional funding for ASG operations included expenditures on education, the LBJ Hospital, public works, and the college. For the past twenty years, ASG has also received a yearly sum of about $10 million to do capital improvement projects,” Faleomavaega said.
“It should be noted that FY 2011 budget has just been completed and now on its way for President Obama’s signature. Congress is now faced with the dilemma of conducting hearings and come up with a budget for FY 2012, which begins on 1 October 2011. And its most likely that the Republican majority in the House will be proposing more spending cuts in the operations and programs currently administered by the federal government,” Faleomavaega noted.
“I will continue to keep our people informed as more information becomes available”, Faleomavaega concluded.