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Several federally funded programmes that US President Donald J. Trump, is proposing to defund or reduce for the new fiscal year 2018 — which commences 01 October, 2017 — will impact American Samoa.
Among the America Samoa Government (ASG) entities expected to be impacted are the Territorial Energy Office (TEO), which is 100 percent federally funded, the Environmental Protection Agency and the local Commerce Department. Trump’s proposal also eliminates funding to independent federal agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts (Arts Council) and the Legal Services Corporation.
Trump’s 62-page “America First- A budget blueprint to make America Great Again” summary was released last Thursday with final proposed budget details set to be out in May this year, according to the White House.
The budget blueprint has already attracted both criticism and support across the country including the U.S. Congress where several congressional members have told national news organizations that the “purse strings” rest with Congress — meaning Congress has the final say when it comes to money allocation.
One big question for the U.S territories, including American Samoa, is whether Trump plans to increase, reduce or eliminate any funding — since there were no specific details in the budget blueprint — for the U.S Department of Interior that allocates funds to the territories.
For FY 2017, specific annual allocation to American Samoa from DOI is: US$22.75 million for government operations and $9.61 in Capital Improvement Projects (CIP).
Of the total ASG budget for FY 2017 of just over US$380 million, about US$104 million comes from federal grants.
SOURCE: SAMOA NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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