THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS - October 04, 2019

Oct 6, 2019

In this issue:

 • Veterans Committee to meet veterans

Veterans CODEL tours the Pacific

AMBER Alert bill introduced

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

$36M Medicaid disaster funds spent

Interior submits required report

$1.96M available for compact impact

2020 FAFSA now open

Kilili Time Capsule


Legislative Highlights


AMBER Alert bill introduced

The AMBER Alert Nationwide Act I introduced today will add the Marianas and other Pacific insular areas to the national system for finding missing children. AMBER alerts mobilize the community via radio, TV, and text messages and have helped locate almost one thousand children, since the system was created in 1996. My bill will give law enforcement in the Marianas the financial and technical resources from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Transportation to implement AMBER alerts in our community, hopefully saving lives.

Interior submits required report

Economic development in the Marianas and creating job opportunities for U.S. workers is an all-hands-on-deck effort. That is why I included a requirement in the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act last year that the Interior Department report to Congress on what that agency is doing to help us become more like the rest of the American economic family. The Department submitted its first report on Tuesday. The Consolidated Natural Resources Act, Public Law 110-229, which extended federal immigration to the Marianas, tasked Interior with providing technical assistance to the Commonwealth “to identify opportunities for… diversification and growth of the economy.” Interior was also required to assist “to assist employers in the Commonwealth in securing employees first from among United States citizens.” And the Department was supposed to help Marianas “educational entities to develop curricula” for needed job skills. The biannual report required by the U.S. Workforce Act will help make clear how well Interior is fulfilling these duties.

$1.96M available for compact impact

The Northern Marianas is eligible to receive $1,955,330 in FY 2020 Compact Impact grant funding, the Office of Insular Affairs announced. Congress provides this money to the Pacific insular areas and Hawaii to help defray health, education, and infrastructure costs associated with migrants from the freely associated states of Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. FAS citizens can live, study, and work throughout the U.S under terms of the Compacts of Free Association. The Commonwealth government must submit a plan of use by November 30, 2019, to receive the grant funds. In 2018, the Census Bureau estimated the number of FAS migrants in the Northern Marianas at 2,535, a decrease from 2,660 in 2013.

2020 FAFSA Now Open

Marianas students needing financial aid for college next fall can now begin filing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA. October 1 was the opening date for the 2020-2021 school year. Information entered on the FAFSA determines eligibility for Pell grants and other scholarships, work-study awards, and loans. While the deadline for this federal aid is June 30, 2021, colleges that rely on information in the FAFSA in awarding their own school scholarships and student aid may make decisions much sooner. So, do not delay. Consult your high school counselors or college financial aid officers for school-specific deadlines and assistance. You can access the FAFSA form here.


Public Comments


The House is in recess for the District Work Period.
The House is in recess for the District Work Period.