CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 3940, on Monday, December 7, 2009, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 3940 was introduced on October 10, 2009, by Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark-up and reported the bill, as amended, by voice vote on November 18, 2009.
H.R. 3940 would authorize the Secretary of Interior to provide assistance to the Government of Guam to facilitate a public education program regarding political status options for the Territory of Guam. The bill allows the Secretary to provide assistance in the form of grants, research, planning assistance, studies, and agreements with Federal agencies.
In addition, the legislation would express the sense that Congress, "reaffirms that it is the responsibility of the Secretary of the Interior to advance the economic, social, and political development of the Territories of the United States."
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the U.S. which became a territory in the Treaty of Paris following the Spanish-American War in 1898. The underlying bill would allow the Secretary of Interior to provide federal assistance to the people of Guam with assistance in implanting programs to educate the people of Guam about the political status of the territory. Options for the political status of Guam may include statehood, free association, independence, or maintaining the status quo. Guam has an estimated population of approximately 180,000 and elects one non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives. Guam is also home to number of U.S. military bases, representing the Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
According to CBO, H.R. 3940 would cost $2 million over the FY 2010-FY 2014 period.