THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS - November 25, 2015

Nov 29, 2015

In this issue:

BREAKING NEWS: Three new academy slots now available.

President Obama signed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act into law this afternoon, adding three new slots for Northern Mariana Islands students at the U.S. service academies. Section 556 of the new law increases academy positions for NMI students by one each at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs. This is the second time openings for the Northern Marianas have been increased. I included language in the 2010 Defense Authorization (§527) doubling the total slots at the time from three to six. All but one of those are currently filled, a testament to the high caliber of applicants from our islands. With the President’s action, we now have nine positions set aside for the Northern Marianas with four openings available now for applicants in this year’s admissions cycle. For information about applying for a congressional nomination to a service academy, visit the congressional website at or contact your local congressional office. The deadline to apply for my nomination is Friday, December 11, 2015.

Erratum: In last week's e-newsletter, we mistakenly identified the school mascot of the Tinian Elementary School as the Stallion. The Colt is the mascot of Tinian Elementary School, while the Stallion is the mascot of the Tinian Junior Senior High School. Our apologies for the error.

OPPORTUNITIES: Federal contracts, grants, jobs for/in the Marianas:


  • 2016 Marine Education and Training Mini Grant Program - The National Marine Fisheries Service is soliciting competitive applications for the 2016 Pacific Islands Region Marine Education and Training Mini-Grant Program. Projects are being solicited to improve communication, education, and training on marine resource issues throughout the region and increase scientific education for marine-related professions among coastal community residents, including indigenous Pacific islanders, Native Hawaiians and other underrepresented groups in the region. Current closing date is February 3, 2016. For more information, go to
  • Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities - The EPA’s Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization is soliciting proposals from eligible entities to provide technical assistance to assist communities facing brownfields challenges. Grants awarded under the “Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities” announcement will help communities tackle the challenge of assessing, cleaning up and preparing brownfields sites for development, especially underserved/rural/small and otherwise distressed communities. The technical assistance provided through this grant will cover technical support on various brownfields subject areas. Current closing date is December 21, 2015. For more information, go to
  • Emergency Medical Services for Children State Partnership Regionalization of Care - The goal of the EMSC Program is to reduce child and youth mortality and morbidity caused by severe illness or trauma. The EMSC Program intends to enhance the pediatric capabilities of EMS systems originally designed primarily for adults. “EMS for Children” broadly means a continuum of care that includes the following components: prevention, pre-hospital care, hospital-based emergency care, and rehabilitation and reentry of the child from the emergency care environment into the community. The overall purpose of this grant program is to reduce pediatric morbidity and mortality by developing regionalized systems of care thus increasing access to pediatric specialists for children in rural, territorial, insular and/or tribal communities. Current closing date is January 20, 2016. For more information, go to
  • Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Health Professions Student Training (SBIRT- Student Training) - The purpose of this program is to develop and implement training programs to teach students in health professions (physician assistants, dentists, psychologists, pharmacists, nurses, social workers, counselors, and medical students and residents) the skills necessary to provide evidence-based screening and brief intervention and refer patients who are at risk for a substance use disorder (SUD) to appropriate treatment. Additionally, the training will develop the leadership skills needed in order to champion the implementation of SBIRT throughout the United States healthcare system with the ultimate goal of helping clients avoid substance use disorders. Current closing date is January 4, 2016. For more information, go to


  • Principal - The Defense Education Activity, Department of the Defense is accepting applications for a Principal in Guam. Incumbent will monitor the delivery and evaluation of the education program and manages the facilities, personnel matters, and budget, and logistical support for a school. Position is open until December 31, 2015. For more information, go to
  • Assistant Principal - The Defense Education Activity, Department of Defense is accepting applications for an Assistant Principal in Guam. Incumbent will monitor the delivery and evaluation of the education program and manages the facilities, personnel matters, and budget, and logistical support for a school. Position is open until December 31, 2015. For more information, go to
Highlights in the Legislative Program


On the floor

The House is in recess for the District Work Period.


  • H.Res.523 – Supporting the goals and ideals of American Diabetes Month


On the floor

  • S.611 – Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act
  • H.R.3490 – Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act
  • H.R.3279 – Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act
  • H.R.1755 – To amend title 26, United States Code, to make certain improvements in the congressional charter of the Disabled American Veterans
  • H.R.1541 – Preservation Research at Institutions Serving Minorities Act or the PRISM Act
  • Possible Consideration of the Conference Report to Accompany H.R.22 – Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015
  • Possible Consideration of the Conference Report to Accompany H.R.5 – Student Success Act

Committee Hearings

December 2

  • Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Hearing on “Principles for Ensuring Retirement Advice Serves the Best Interests of Working Families and Retirees”