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Bill for American Samoa appropriations includes request for $3M increase over DOI proposal

Congresswoman Aumua Amata wearing facemask
Sources: Media release from Cong. Aumua Amata's office

Washington, D.C. — Friday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed a successful first step this week for the major appropriations bill that will fund Interior Appropriations for American Samoa, and said the House bill writers have included her request for a fourth straight yearly increase for American Samoa’s budget. This increase is over $3 million more than the federal budget proposal that came from the Interior Department, and $500,000 more than the most recent final appropriated amount.
On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, led by Chairwoman Betty McCollum with Ranking Member David Joyce, included $24,620,000 for American Samoa Operations for fiscal year 2021. That is $500,000 above the enacted level for FY 2020 of $24,120,000, and nearly $3.1 million above Interior’s budget request to Congress.

On Friday, the full House Appropriations Committee, led by Chairwoman Nita Lowey with Ranking Member Kay Granger, also marked up and approved the bill.
Upon enactment, this increase would be the fourth straight yearly boost, as Congresswoman Amata secured $400,000 for 2020; $718,000 for 2019 and $250,000 for 2018 — a total direct increase of just under $2 million enacted in that span for ASG Operations. Each time also restored millions more than the administration’s proposal for the Territory.
“One of the most important steps is getting the funding in the bill from the starting line,” said Aumua Amata. “There’s a legislative process ahead, but this is good news for our Territory’s yearly funding.”
Congresswoman Amata will continue communicating with the Appropriations Committee leadership in both the House and Senate as the bill moves forward.

“Thank you to Chairwoman Lowey, Ranking Member Granger, Chairwoman McCollum, and Ranking Member Joyce, for including American Samoa’s needs in this important bill,” concluded Amata.