Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Bordallo's office addresses war reparations & Section 30 funding

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Anxiety built up around long-awaited war reparations hasn’t gone away completely since the enactment of legislation from Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo. 

Guam - It’s a difficult thought to bear.  Even though a World War II survivor is alive today, what happens if they pass away before reparations are paid? 

Jon Calvo, the District Office Director for Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo on K57’s Your 1 Free Re-Phill, said they believe as long as a claimant was alive when the law authorizing the payout was signed by then-President Barack Obama, the claim will be honored.

“We expressed to the [Foreign Claims] Commission that that any living survivor who may have passed away after — as of the date of the enactment should be considered for a claim.  And there was no push back from the commission and so I think that’s something that they have factored in the rule-making process,” Calvo said.

The Congresswoman is also facing backlash from Governor Eddie Calvo, who yesterday criticized her for the funding source of this law, which is Section 30 money. 

Though it’s meant to be a placeholder, the government is facing a very real problem: some of these funds will be held in trust to pay out claims.  This means that a portion of Section 30 money will not be available for the government of Guam to spend. 

Adelup and Bordallo disagree what the benchmark for this lock-box provision is, and in a release yesterday, the administration chided Bordallo’s office as writing off this budgetary concern as merely a local issue. 

This account, Jon Calvo claims, is not what was said during a conference call.

“I have to correct that — that’s a mischaracterization of our conversation with the Governor’s office yesterday,” Calvo said.  “What we did say was that we understood the political sensitivity of this issue facing the Legislature and the Governor.”  

“And not necessarily ‘Well this is your problem you handle it’,” asked show host Phill Leon Guerrero, “Right, our office would never do that,” replied Calvo.  “We understand that the threshold for Section 30 was not going to be determined by us.  It would be determined by the Office of Insular Affairs and the Treasury Department,” he added.

Calvo also reiterated Bordallo is requesting the White House find an alternate funding source for war reparations in the President’s budget request.



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