Undeterred by last month’s setback in Congress, a Guam lawmaker re-introduced a bill this week seeking $100 million for Guamanians for their suffering during World War II.
The Senate removed the war claims legislation — called the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act — from the National Defense Authorization Act as its last action before passing the massive defense budget on Dec. 22.
The House bill was the first action of the new year by Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, who was sworn in this month following her re-election in November. Bordallo has said the reparations are her top priority in Congress.
Guam has been asking Congress to approve the war reparations since 1983, claiming the U.S. owes the compensation because it abandoned the island during the war and condemned the population to a brutal three-year occupation by Japan.
In recent sessions, the effort has had some success in the House but has been blocked by the Senate and fiscal conservatives, according to Bordallo.
“War claims [legislation] has now passed the House five times, and I will continue to build upon the progress made in the 111th Congress and explore every legislative opportunity available to resolve this issue,” Bordallo said Wednesday in a statement.