Hagåtña, Guam – Governor Lou Leon Guerrero provided testimony today to the Interagency Group on Insular Affairs and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland on how federal investments in Guam’s hospital, infrastructure, and resilience serve national security interests.
“I believe that changing circumstances have presented a new context in which these issues should be considered. As a matter of both policy and public discussion, our nation is being confronted with the very real prospect of military conflict with China over Taiwan,” said Governor Leon Guerrero, in her testimony. “I have to consider the implications for my community if history is repeated and Guam once again finds itself on the front lines of yet another military conflict, and I believe federal policy should consider these implications as well.”
Governor Leon Guerrero reiterated and shared new requests, including:
- $700 million in federal support for a new Guam Memorial Hospital that incorporates services for Guam’s veterans who are denied ready access to a VA acute care facility;
- Increased funding for the Territorial Highway Program (THP) and authorization for the redistribution of lapsed funds back into the THP;
- Extension of the Guam NDAA H-2B exemption to 2029, and the establishment of a Guam Only temporary need within the H-2B program;
- Full reimbursement for future Compact Impact expenses and debt relief of past unreimbursed, validated, compact impact expenses and annual matching funds;
- Extension of Medicaid coverage to all FAS citizens in their home nations to reduce the need for FAS residents to migrate to Guam, the CNMI, Hawaii, and other affected states;
- Expansion of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to developers on Guam, as an incentive for the construction of affordable housing;
- Exemption from the Jones Act, authorization of additional Defense Access Road projects in the next NDAA, inclusion in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, and removal of Guam’s annual Medicaid cap.
“These proposed solutions would help stabilize Guam’s economy and social infrastructure,” Governor Leon Guerrero added. “I appreciate the opportunity to extend these requests on behalf of Guam, and perhaps, more importantly, to share our perspective on the future of our island.”