The amendment proposed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was accepted by the Rules Committee and on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The institution in charge of carrying out the study would be the Comptroller General of the United States, which heads the Government Accountability Office (GAO). GAO provides Congress, the heads of executive agencies with timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can be used to improve government and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Its work is carried out at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is statutorily required by public laws or committees.
The report should be completed six months after being declared law.
The work implies great challenges, the first of which is to evaluate the cleaning of underwater sites where unexploded ordnance remains buried today. The logistics involved in this evaluation, as well as those of the rest of the interventions, require well-planned action, a meticulous study of the topography of the place, and a responsible integral management of the environment of the islands.
The evaluation of the participation of the resident communities in the cleanups carried out is an important aspect that should not be ignored in the report. The previous cleaning works have aroused the distrust of the inhabitants of the islands. Added to the historical bias against military bases, the community fears irresponsible cleanup management.
In this sense, the report is expected to help implement transparent and collaborative interventions. Multidisciplinary protocols and procedures must be designed in a way that integrates science with local knowledge and involves the community in decision-making and interventions.
Congressman Ocasio Cortez ordered the Secretary of the Navy to acquire closed-circuit cameras to detonate explosives. Epidemiological studies on the health effects of military activities in the area have also been required.
The approval of the report at the chamber level, as well as that of the construction of a new school at the old Ramey base, of the microgrid system at Fort Buchaman, and of those projects, was achieved after Trump diverted the funds destined for them for the construction of the border wall with Mexico. This construction work also included the National Guard Training Center at Fort Allen. At that time, almost 400 million dollars that were allocated for this purpose were canceled.
The Democratic leader on the Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith, said that this bill coming out of the committee is "a clear message to our allies and partners, global competitors, and the American people that democracy works and Congress can still work."
Many are skeptical about the approval of a project that previously had an 800 million-dollar budget and now will surely have a much higher one.