THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS - December 02, 2022

Dec 4, 2022


Democrats elect leaders

When they say “non-voting” Delegate, they forget the people of the Marianas have an equal vote in selecting party leadership in Congress. This week, I participated in the vote for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York to be the new Democratic leader, following Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to step down. Leader Jeffries represents a new generation of Democrats taking the reins. He is joined by Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, who will serve as Whip, and by Pete Aguilar of California as Democratic Caucus Chair. Notably, Ted Lieu of California was elected Vice Chairman of the Caucus, the highest leadership position ever for an Asian Pacific Island American.

$3M for Typhoon Yutu recovery

On Thursday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the Public School System another $3,070,649.35 to aid its Super Typhoon Yutu recovery efforts. Congratulations, PSS.

VA to launch new life insurance program

For the first time in more than 50 years, the Department of Veterans Affairs will launch a new VA life insurance program, extending VALife access to millions of veterans. VALife will provide up to $40,000 of guaranteed whole life insurance for all veterans, age 80 or under, with service disabilities rated from 0-100 percent, and no medical underwriting required. For more information, please visit

Apply to be a White House Fellow

The President’s Commission on White House Fellowships is now accepting applications for the White House Fellows Class of 2023-2024. Selected individuals to this prestigious program will typically spend a year working as a full-time, paid Fellow to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries, and other top-ranking government officials. The deadline to apply is January 6th, 2023. For more information and to apply, go to

Infrastructure Act: $21M for Marianas water

The first-year allotment of water and sewer funding for the Marianas from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is $20,794,000, the Environmental Protection Agency announced. The IIJA will provide this funding, particularly aimed at historically underserved communities, annually for five years, through 2026.

CW cap announced

Twenty-two students from the Northern Marianas entered this year's Congressional App Challenge, competing as individuals or teams of up to four. From these submissions, The Student Companion, by Daniel Villarmero and Chenoa Bunts-Anderson of Marianas High School, was chosen as this year’s winner.

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security

The House-passed National Defense Authorization Act contains my provision requiring that the flags of the territories and the District of Columbia all be included whenever the flags of all 50 states are displayed on military installations.



Public comments:

  • Tax form burden information
  • Toll and highway data
  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Questionnaire
  • Veterinary user fees
  • SBIC diversification
  • Natural disaster procedures
  • COVID expenditure report data


  • H.R. 5455 - Terry Technical Correction Act (passed, 307-101)
  • H.R. 4772 - Mark O'Brien VA Clothing Allowance Improvement Act
  • H.Res. 922 - Condemning the use of hunger as a weapon of war and recognizing the effect of conflict on global food security and famine (passed under suspension of the rules)
  • S. 3846 - Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act of 2022 (passed, 389-22)


  • H.R. 5796 (Senate amendments) - Respect for Marriage Act
  • S. 4834 - PROTECT Our Children Act of 2022
  • H.R. 3648 - EAGLE Act of 2022