Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Congress News, March 13, 2003

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): March 13, 2003 - Members of Congress are concerned that the 13th FSM Congress may not be able to provide funding for operation of the national government for FY 2004 if funding source (s) cannot be identified. The nation and its four states, agencies and programs will need at least $80 million for operation based on FY 2003 level, according to a reliable source.

In a meeting with the Secretaries of the Departments of Justice and Foreign Affairs, and the Deputy Secretary of Finance and Administration, members discussed issues associated with the negotiations of the compact between the FSM and the U.S. Two issues of major concerns are immigration, which the U.S. insists must be negotiated even though it is not one of the expiring provisions and funding for the operations of the five governments in FY 2004.

The Congress also expressed its disappointment with the slow progress in concluding the negotiations process.

The Secretary of the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs stated in his report to Congress that the document on the negotiated compact may not be sent to the U.S. Congress for final review unless the issues on immigration are resolved.

There are 4 items of major concern that the U.S. would like to address with regard to immigration provisions under the compact. These are: entry of FSM citizens into the U.S.; restricting FSM citizens living in the U.S.; criminal records of FSM citizens entering the U.S. and adoptions of FSM citizens by U.S. families.

In a 15 minutes session yesterday, Congress received a bill, C.B. No. 12-176, to further amend Public Law No. 10-11 by further amending sections 1, 2, and 4 to clarify the make-up and expand the negotiating authority of the Joint Committee on Compact Economic Negotiations.

Speaker Jack Fritz asked members, those who will come back during the 13th Congress, to remember the request made by the Our Lady of Mercy School asking for Congress support.

Congress recessed at 11:15 and will reconvene tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

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