Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bordallo on GAO Report: "The Current Structure of the Compacts is Unsustainable"

Guam News - Guam News

Guam - Guam Congresswoman Madeline Bordallo has released the following statement on the release today [Tuesday] of the GAO report on the impact of the Compacts of Free Association.

READ Congresswoman Bordallo's statement in FULL below:
 
Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo  issued the following statement in response to a Government Accountability Office report on the impact of Compact migration on the U.S. Insular Areas.

GAO officials were on Guam in February of this year to assess the adequacy of federal funds provided to the Government of Guam to assist with funding costs associated with providing services to migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. While on Guam the GAO team met with various Government of Guam officials, the Guam Legislature, and other local stakeholders.
 
Congresswoman Bordallo, as the previous Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife in the 111th Congress, and her colleagues from American Samoa, Arkansas, Hawaii, and the Northern Mariana Islands, requested that the GAO conduct this study to better inform policy decisions regarding the impact of Compact migration to the United States.
 
The Compacts of Free Association between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau authorize admission of their respective citizens into the United States and waives visa requirements applicable to other countries. The Congresswoman was successful in increasing Compact-Impact funding from 2004 to 2023 through the enactment of the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-188). The Congresswoman is a co-sponsor of legislation in the current Congress that would increase Compact-impact reimbursement for the affected jurisdiction from $30 million per year to $185 million per year and include Compact migrants in Medicaid coverage outside of current Medicaid caps.
 
“The GAO report further highlights the challenges that local governments in Guam, Hawaii, and the CNMI have encountered in having to use local funds to cover the full cost of providing social services to Compact migrants,” said Congresswoman Bordallo.  “The current structure of the Compacts is unsustainable for the affected jurisdictions, and I will urge the House Committee on Natural Resources to hold an oversight hearing to further examine the recommendations contained in this report.  I hope that this will provide Congress with further guidance to make policy decisions and find ways to reduce the burden on local governments and increase Federal assistance to the affected jurisdictions.  I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to redress the inadequacies of the Compacts while upholding the spirit of their original intent.”
 

GAO Releases Compact-Impact Report
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 15, 2011 – Washington, D.C. –
 
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today issued the following statement in response to a Government Accountability Office report on the impact of Compact migration on the U.S. Insular Areas. GAO officials were on Guam in February of this year to assess the adequacy of federal funds provided to the Government of Guam to assist with funding costs associated with providing services to migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. While on Guam the GAO team met with various Government of Guam officials, the Guam Legislature, and other local stakeholders.
 
Congresswoman Bordallo, as the previous Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife in the 111th Congress, and her colleagues from American Samoa, Arkansas, Hawaii, and the Northern Mariana Islands, requested that the GAO conduct this study to better inform policy decisions regarding the impact of Compact migration to the United States.
 
The Compacts of Free Association between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau authorize admission of their respective citizens into the United States and waives visa requirements applicable to other countries. The Congresswoman was successful in increasing Compact-Impact funding from 2004 to 2023 through the enactment of the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-188).  She is also a co-sponsor of legislation in the current Congress that would increase Compact-impact reimbursement for the affected jurisdiction from $30 million per year to $185 million per year and include Compact migrants in Medicare coverage outside of current Medicare caps.
 
“The GAO report further highlights the challenges that local governments in Guam, Hawaii, and the CNMI have encountered in having to use local funds to cover the full cost of providing social services to Compact migrants,” said Congresswoman Bordallo.  “The current structure of the Compacts is unsustainable for the affected jurisdictions, and I will urge the House Committee on Natural Resources to hold an oversight hearing to further examine the recommendations contained in this report.  I hope that this will provide Congress with further guidance to make policy decisions and find ways to reduce the burden on local governments and increase Federal assistance to the affected jurisdictions.  I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to redress the inadequacies of the Compacts while upholding the spirit of their original intent.”
 
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