THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS - August 10, 2018

Aug 12, 2018

In this issue:

Congratulations, Col. Sablan

Tuna catch limits to support fisheries

Fighting for cleaner air

Student training funds in Perkins Act

New Medicare cards out

Welcome, STEP-UP

Opportunities

Legislative Highlights

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Tuna catch limits to support fisheries

Bigeye tuna catch limits and sale allocations for the Marianas proposed by the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) this week are identical to those implemented by the federal agency on an annual basis since 2014. Once again, NMFS proposes a 2,000 metric ton limit for longline-caught bigeye tuna and authorizes the Commonwealth to sell up to half that amount to U.S. longline fishing vessels based in other U.S. territories or Hawaii. Proceeds from the sale of the are to fund fisheries development projects that are included in the Marianas Marine Conservation Plan.

Fighting for cleaner air

Public health is negatively impacted by high levels of hazardous air pollution from vehicle emissions and I want to keep our island air clean and our people healthy. But the Trump Administration is seeking to weaken federal clean car standards covering emissions and fuel economy for model year 2021-2026 light duty vehicles. This week I joined 57 of my colleagues in the Congressional Tri-Caucus in a letter to the EPA Administrator and the Secretary of Transportation about our deep concern with the proposals that would disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. Our letter urges the Administration to engage with state, territorial and federal stakeholders to establish strong clean car standards for the next decade. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention has said that “economically disadvantaged and minority populations share a disproportionate burden of air pollution exposure and risk”. 

Student training funds in Perkins Act

Annual training funding of $350,000 to the Marianas for our students to get the skills that match in-demand jobs in our local economy will continue to be authorized with enactment of Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21s Century Act. The law reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which has provided annual funding to the Public School System under the main federal career and technical education programs. PSS uses the money to provide classroom instruction and on-the-job training to about 1,200 students. The CTE-funded programs available include hospitality and tourism, construction, electronics, basic automotive and engine repair, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. 

New Medicare cards out

Marianas Medicare patients should have received their new Medicare cards in the mail, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mailing schedule. The new cards will now battle fraud by giving you a unique, randomly-assigned Medicare number and will no longer display individual's Social Security numbers. Once you receive your new card, you’re asked to destroy your old card and keep your new card number confidential. If you have not received your new card, please call your congressional office at 670-323-2647.

OPPORTUNITIES

Public Comment:

LEGISLATIVE HIGHLIGHTS

THIS WEEK AND NEXT WEEK

The House is in recess for the District Work Period.