Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

Congress adjourns three days into Special Session

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): January 9, 2009 - Speaker Isaac V. Figir gaveled the Sixth Special Session of the 15th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia adjourned sine-die on January 7 2008, three days after it convened because of lack of relevant measures and issues to address the President's call.

The Special Session was called by President Emanuel 'Manny' Mori to address his national Declaration of Emergency following severe tidal surges in early December which had devastating effects on the outlying islands of the nation. To address the declaration, President Mori called for a five-day Special Session from January 5 - 9 2008.

While the FSM Congress convened to address the President's call, the Body was however restricted by the absence of appropriate legislative measures specific to addressing the emergency call.

Two proposed legislations had followed the call for session, but for technical and legal ramifications they did not surface for action on the floor. Congressional Bill 15-180 was proposed to amend Title 55 of the FSM Code to re-define Foreign Assistance Fund and further detail its process of approval. It was felt that an overhaul to Foreign Assistance Funds and its established procedures warrants a more thorough and meticulous review, the proposal was not addressed therefore.

President Mori's emergency appropriation bill, C.B. 15-181, proposed to amend the 2009 Budget to the tune of over $103 million - an amount that stumped Congress considering the most recent revenue projection was miles shy of the amount proposed. Of the proposed amount, $67 million was to have come from the amended Compact Infrastructure sector, Congress this time balked at the notion of deciding the States' priorities by de-appropriating their infrastructure funds. The proposed legislation was denied breath on the floor.

On Day Two, in lieu of appropriate measures from the executive to address the declaration, Congress overrode President Mori's veto to earmark $1.4 million as an immediate means to support the emergency declaration.

A full house convened on Day Three of the Special Session with an empty order of business except three Presidential Communications that again were without accompanying proposed legislations:

PC 15-324, was a letter requesting an appropriation of $100,000 for the quarterly audit of Chuuk State with an enclosure that informed Congress of a Chinese Embassy grant of $100,000 for emergency relief along with a $30,000 donation to the FSM Red Cross;

PC 15-325, requested the remaining FY2009 budget for the T-3 program and its program activity framework; and

PC 15-326, was documentations relating to the declared emergency.

Without relevant proposed legislations from the executive and to cover all basis, the Committee on Ways and Means drafted Congressional Resolution 15-182 to approve the gratuitous grant from the Government of the People's Republic of China in the amount of $100,000 towards the nation's emergency relief efforts.

Without appropriate legislative measures from the Executive relevant to addressing the President's declaration or the other issues in the call for Special Session, it was the general consensus of the members that they adjourn early.

The Sixth Special Session of the 15th FSM Congress therefore adjourned sine-die on Wednesday, January 7 2008.

As scheduled, the 15th FSM Congress will convene on January 26 2008, for its Sixth Regular Session.

For further information on this release, please contact:

Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia
Public Information Office
P.O Box PS-3
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2324/2325
Fax.: (691) 320-5122