|Congressman Faleomavaega announced that Congress has
extended the authority of the federal departments to expend funds through
October 16th. The President is expected to sign the legislation.
Without the extension, the authorization would have expired this Sunday,
“Faced with the difficult task of responding to the attacks on the
Nation of September 11th, Congress needed additional time to resolve differences
in next year’s budget bills. The U.S. House and Senate have both
approved legislation this week to continue federal funding at current levels,
but this is the first time I can recall that the fiscal year will have
ended with none of the 13 appropriation bills having been signed into law,”
“As I reported earlier, the House Appropriations Committee directed
the Secretary of the Interior to withhold some of the federal subsidy for
ASG’s operations unless a financial recovery plan was submitted to the
Department of the Interior. ASG has been busy addressing the Committee’s
concerns and has provided OIA with a financial recovery plan as required
by Congress. Some details of the plan have yet to be worked out,
and the required memorandum of understanding has not been signed, but OIA
has assured my office that this process is well underway and that no withholding
of federal funds is anticipated at this time,” continued the Congressman.
“There remains much work for Congress to do this year. One
major stumbling block in resolving the budget is how much money Congress
should appropriate for FY2002, which begins on October 1st. There
is support in Congress for funding at a level $6 billion higher than the
limit set earlier this year. The White House is saying if Congress
wants to spend $6 billion more on certain programs, Congress should cut
all other programs so as not to exceed the limit previously agreed to.
Once this issue is resolved, work can proceed on the individual appropriations
bills, and it is likely that some of the bills will be combined,” noted
The House has passed 10 of the 13 appropriations bills; the Senate
has passed seven. The appropriations bill for the Department of the
Interior, which contains approximately $35 million in funding for American
Samoa, has passed both the House and Senate and was sent to a conference
committee on September 20th.