THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS - Students lead to stop gun violence

Mar 18, 2018

In this issue - March 16, 2018:


End the tax on working families

Working families in the Marianas should not be forgotten – especially in this time of economic growth, when the Commonwealth government is spending money on lots of other priorities. That is why I recommended our Legislature end the local tax on the Earned Income Tax Credit. I wrote an op-ed for the Tribune and the Variety this week to give the history of the Commonwealth tax on what should be extra income for working families. As our economy grows and government spending increases, I think it is time to stop taxing those who work hard; so they and their children can have health care, food on the table, a good education, and all the necessities of life. Let me know if you have any questions:

JSA awards for Marianas students

This summer, 25 high school students from across the Marianas will be honing their leadership skills and taking college level coursework in Government and Speech at top-notch universities, through the Junior Statesmen of America Summer Schools Program. The students were accepted into the program following a competitive admissions process, and four have been awarded full tuition and transportation scholarships: Pionnah Gregorio from Marianas High School; Michael Lee of Saipan International School; Reica Ramirez of Mount Carmel School; and Kevin Wolf of Marianas High School. Congratulations to all. 

$650,000 for judicial education

The Ninth Circuit Judicial Council Pacific Islands Committee will receive $653,003 for legal training in the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. The Committee works with the judiciary in each jurisdiction to provide education and training to judges and court personnel with the goal of improving the administration of justice in the Pacific. Congress provides the funding by appropriation to the Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical Assistance Program.

$900,000 for Close Up Program

About 190 students from the Northern Marianas, the Freely Associated States, and other U.S. insular areas will get to participate in Close Up this year. $900,000 was awarded on Tuesday to the program. Congress appropriates this money each year to send our students and teachers to Washington, New York City, and Philadelphia to meet with federal officials, engage in public policy workshops, and debate the issues of the day. Without this funding many of our students would never see the U.S. Capitol and other historic sites here in the mainland. I believe they become better citizens as a result. A portion of the funds will also be used to support student attendance at Close Up Youth Summits across the islands.




Public Comments



On the Floor

  • H.R. 4545 – Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act (Passed, 283-133)
  • H.R. 4263 – Regulation A+ Improvement Act of 2017 (Passed, 246-170)
  • H.R. 1116 – TAILOR Act of 2017 (Passed, 247-169)
  • H.R. 4909 – STOP School Violence Act of 2018 (Passed, 407-10)
  • H.R. 3996 – Protecting Access to the Courts for Taxpayers Act (Agreed to by voice vote)
  • H.R. 506 – Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2017 (Agreed to by voice vote)
  • H.R. 3249 – Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2017 (Agreed to by voice vote)
  • H.R. 4465 – Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act of 2017 (Passed, 392-6)
  • H.R. 1800 – To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to transfer certain Federal land to facilitate scientific research supporting Federal space and defense programs (Agreed to by voice vote)
  • S. 324 – State Veterans Home Adult Day Health Care Improvement Act of 2017 (Agreed to by voice vote)

Legislation I Cosponsored

  • H.R.5292 – To establish a task force to review new decennial census questions and their impact on response rates for minorities, the accuracy of the census, redistricting, costs and funding distribution, and for other purposes.


On the Floor

  • H.R. 4566 – Alleviating Stress Test Burdens to Help Investors Act
  • H.R. 5247 – Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2018
  • S. 2030 – Ceiling fan Energy Conservation Harmonization Act
  • H.R. 5074 – DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2018
  • H.R. 4176 – Air Cargo Security Improvement Act of 2018
  • H.R. 5099 – Enhancing DHS’ Fusion Center Technical Assistance Program Act
  • H.R. 4227 – Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act of 2018
  • H.R. 4467 – Strengthening Aviation Security Act of 2018
  • H.R. 5079 – DHS Field Engagement Accountability Act
  • H.R. 5131 – Surface Transportation Security Improvement Act of 2018
  • H.R. 5089 – Strengthening Local Transportation Security Capabilities Act of 2018

Committee Activity
Tuesday, March 20

  • Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Hearing on “Expanding Affordable Health Care Options: Examining the Department of Labor’s Proposed Rule on Association Health Plans”
  • Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Legislative Hearing - “H.R. 888, H.R. 4335, H.R. 4910, and H.R. 4958”
  • Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Oversight Hearing - “Policy Priorities for the Administration’s FY 2019 Budget for Indian Affairs and Insular Areas”

Wednesday, March 21

  • Committee on Natural Resources Markup
  • Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Oversight Hearing on “Examining the Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Spending, Priorities and Missions of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Four Power Marketing Administrations"