|July 18, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—HOUSE PASSES INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL AND INCLUDES MORE THAN $33 MILLION FOR ASG|
Faleomavaega announced today that the House passed by a vote of 268 to
152 the Interior Appropriations bill for FY 2004 which includes $33, 240,000
for American Samoa.
“As I have said before, all federal funding to ASG comes from Congress,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Last night, the House decided how much money the Department of the Interior should get for fiscal year 2004. The House also decided how much money the Department of the Interior should give to American Samoa. I am pleased to announce that the House has informed the Department of the Interior to give American Samoa more than $33 million for FY 2004.”
“At this time, I want to thank the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations, Congressman Charles Taylor, and the Ranking Member, Congressman Norman Dicks, for supporting my efforts to include funding for American Samoa in the Interior Appropriations bill. I also want to thank Chairman Bill Young and Ranking Member David Obey of the full committee for their leadership and support.”
“Although there have been efforts in the past to take away our $33 million from the Interior Appropriations bill, I have fought hard to keep our funding in place and I am pleased that my colleagues have supported my efforts to make sure that American Samoa’s funding remains in place despite the budget cuts this country is facing and despite our nation’s need to increase funding for the war on terrorism.”
“As I said in my statement before the House, more than 100 years ago, the traditional leaders of American Samoa ceded their islands to the United States and our sons and daughters have served in record numbers in every U.S. military engagement from WWII to present operations in our war against terrorism. The people of American Samoa have stood by the United States in good times and bad and to this day American Samoa serves as a refueling point for U.S. naval ships and military aircraft.”
“Given the sacrifices and contributions American Samoa has made in defense of our nation, my colleagues and I have always worked hard to put American Samoa first by making sure that American Samoa is given the federal assistance it needs. In the past seven years, we have made sure that American Samoa has received more than $1 billion in federal aid and that $770 million has gone directly to ASG.”
“For FY 2004, we have directed the Department of the Interior to give ASG more than $23 million for government operations and more than $10 million for capital improvement projects for a total of more than $33 million. We are also directing other federal agencies to set aside millions more for ASG during FY 04. In addition, we also included $10 million for ASG in the Tax Act of 2003,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“As I have also done for the past 15 years, I will leave it to the discretion of our local leaders to decide how our $33 million from the Interior Appropriations bill should be spent. In turn, I am hopeful that our $10 million from the Tax Act will be used to help us resolve Manua’s transportation problems as well as assisting us in upgrading our harbors, training doctors and nurses, improving our high school libraries, providing for a VA medical clinic and upgrading our village water systems.”
“Once again, I want to thank my colleagues for working closely with me to see that American Samoa receives its fair share of federal funds. To this day, no other State or Territory receives funding for the operations of its local government and I am pleased that we have been successful in keeping our Interior funding in place.”
“I also want to thank the Governor and our local leaders for working with me to protect and build the future of American Samoa. With your support and prayers, we are building a better tomorrow and you have my promise that I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that American Samoa gets the federal funds it needs to make a difference for generations to come,” the Congressman concluded.
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