Guam will get less money from the federal government under President Trumpʻs proposed fiscal 2019 budget for the Office of Insular Affairs, which calls for an 18 percent cut in funding for territories and eliminates $3 million in discretionary Compact impact money.
At the same time, a recent report from the government of Guam estimates the actual cost of the Compacts of Free Association for Guam was $147.3 million in 2017, a 5 percent increase over the previous year.
The government of Guam estimates there are 25,910 citizens from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau living here, which is about 16 percent of the islandʻs total resident population. Under the Compacts, citizens from these countries are allowed to live, work and attend school in the U.S. and its territories as non-immigrants, without restrictions.
As Guam struggles with a loss of revenue from tax cuts, the news that less money will be coming from the federal government was disappointing for the territoryʻs congressional delegate.
“Our communities are already struggling with constrained budgets, and the tax law enacted last year by Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration will worsen our local challenges,” Del. Madeline Bordallo stated in a news release.
“I am especially concerned that the administration continues to de-prioritize Compact impact by eliminating $3 million in discretionary funding,” she stated. While this is a small amount compared to the overall costs to GovGuam and other affected jurisdictions, it is unacceptable for the administration to propose less…