U.S. House passes numerous bills Amata supported
Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed House action passing a series of bills which she supported in the House Natural Resources Committee, along with a Veterans’ bill as Congress works to wrap up more of the year’s final business.
Veterans: On Monday, the House passed S. 2248, another bill supporting Veterans. This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), upon request, to provide headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of Veterans' spouses, surviving spouses, and children (including unmarried adult children at the VA's discretion) who are buried in a Veterans cemetery owned by a tribal organization, or on land owned by or held in trust for a tribal organization.
“By helping in these particular cases, this effort respects the contributions of all our Veterans and their entire families,” said Amata. “We want to know that no one is inadvertently left out, and ensure that these final dignities are available to honor their service.”
Territories: The House passed several bills to the benefit of various regions, territories and tribes and their ongoing conservation and land management options, including one cosponsored by Congresswoman Amata. The bipartisan Offshore Wind for Territories Act, H.R. 6665, introduced by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), supplies new support for coral reef preservation funding, and asserts the Territories’ right to self-determination in the matter of examining offshore wind use. This bill does not propose activity for American Samoa, but instead recognizes the right of each Territory including American Samoa to make this sort of energy and economic decision, and supports the interest of other island Territories to explore wind options for themselves.
“I support this coral reef funding and providing options for our friends in other Territories if they decide it would benefit their economies,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “I particularly support this expression of each Territory’s right to make such a decision by the people that would be affected by it, because that self-determination is an important principle.”
Oceans: The Commercial Engagement Through Ocean Technology Act of 2018 Act, S. 2511, would provide for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) efforts to improve data — and make it public — through unmanned maritime vehicles. The bill would require testing and training for such uses, define these vehicles, and provide for cooperative efforts in NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, and the Office of Ocean Exploration, along with cooperation with the U.S. Navy, and finally, academic interest in these projects.
Heritage: Finally, the House passed four bills to preserve aspects of our national history, and each of these initiated in the Natural Resources Committee.
- The Preserving America’s Battlefields Act, H.R. 6108, to preserve and improve visitor experience at historic sites;
- The George W. Bush Childhood Home Study Act, H.R. 3008, would evaluate possibilities for the former President’s boyhood home in Midland, Texas, under the management of the National Park Service;
- H.R. 6118 directs the Secretary of the Interior each year to designate a city in the United States as a “World War II Heritage City;”
- H. Res. 792 would recognize a Roberto Clemente historic site in Puerto Rico as an addition to the National Register of Historic Places.