The President’s FY 2013 Budget requests $575.3 for the Office of Insular Affairs
WASHINGTON, D.C — President Obama has proposed a fiscal year 2013 budget of $575.3 million for the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), the Department of the Interior office that strives to empower U.S.-affiliated insular communities and encourage economic activity and growth.
The budget request includes $88.0 million in current appropriations and $487.3 million in permanent and indefinite appropriations for fiscal payments mandated by law to U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States.
The President’s budget reflects tough budget choices, cutting costs in order to fund the highest priority requirements, and advancing efforts to shrink Federal spending while being mindful of ongoing commitments.
“The 2013 budget request demonstrates President Obama’s continued commitment to the well-being of the U.S. insular areas while remaining fiscally disciplined,” said Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta. “The budget proposes strategic investments as we actively pursue economic development initiatives to encourage private sector development in insular areas.”
The request includes $60.3 million for programs that will address a variety of technical assistance and facilities maintenance programs in the U.S.-affiliated island communities, including Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The 2013 budget makes noteworthy investments of $5.4 million to pursue increased employment through sustainable and renewable energy strategies, improve the quality and quantity of economic data from the territories, and to support improvements in insular area government management.
The 2013 budget proposes $3.0 million to control the invasive brown tree snake on Guam, $1.0 million to assist with coral reef conservation, and $22.8 million to support the operations of the American Samoa Government.
Current mandatory appropriations of $27.7 million will continue to be used to undertake capital improvement projects (CIP) that create economic opportunity in U.S. territories and improve the quality of life in those communities.
With these funds, American Samoa is scheduled to receive $9.9 million in CIP funding; the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, $8.7 million; Guam, $6.1 million; and the U.S. Virgin Islands, $2.9 million.