WASHINGTON, Jul. 15, 2010 (Kyodo News International) -- A U.S. Senate panel on Thursday slashed outlays in a bill for the relocation of the Marines from Japan's Okinawa to Guam, following a similar budget cut by a House of Representatives committee a day before.
With the moves, three of four Congressional panels involved in screening the budget for the Marines relocation decided to cut the outlays, increasing the uncertainty about the prospects of the relocation plan.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to cut the outlays by some $320 million or 70 percent from the government-proposed level in an amendment to the defense authorization bill for fiscal 2011 that will cover October to September next year.
Likewise, a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee decided Wednesday to reduce the relocation expenditure by $279.2 million or about 61 percent of the government plan.
The Senate Armed Services Committee has already axed the outlays by some $320 million or 70 percent from the government-proposed level in late May.
Congressional sources said stalled preparations for creating an environment to host the Marines in Guam, as well as a delay in procuring the necessary land were behind the budget reductions.
The transfer of the Marines to Guam, together with the relocation of the Futenma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture, was agreed on in 2006 and to be completed in 2014, although a delay in the schedule is expected.