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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Guam Governor In Washington To Discuss Budget Cuts
Calvo opposes sequestration, unfunded mandates

HAGTA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Feb. 25, 2013) – Gov. Eddie Calvo is in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss the impact of budget cuts on the military buildup on Guam, unfunded federal mandates, and making another push for a China visa waiver.

In his weekly address, Calvo voices his opposition to the across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to go into affect March 1 and end in 2021.

The much-discussed sequestration will total $1.2 trillion in budget cuts divided between defense spending and discretionary domestic spending.

Calvo said in the midst of discussions about sequestration by national leaders, "some countries are showing aggression toward ours. And the attention is pointing to our part of the globe."

"Years ago, military and diplomatic strategists saw this and developed a global realignment of the armed forces," he stated. "The military buildup is part of this new strategy (and) cannot be a victim to an indiscriminate budget cut."

Calvo said he'll also discuss unfunded federal mandates with national leaders. Mandates such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the new health care law and Compact Impact cut into the local government's coffers and are "strangling our government's ability to provide services properly."

However, Calvo said he's trying to help national leaders understand that approving the visa waiver for Chinese visitors coming to Guam will increase the local government's economic independence.

"Guam is asking for the federal government to allow us to be more economically autonomous at a time when the federal government itself is struggling to make ends meet."

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