Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

Day Two focuses on special report, social security and PMU

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): March 17, 2009 - On Day Two of its Seventh Special Session, the 15th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia focused on the special committee report, introduced a measure to repeal a law and another to restore a measure under previous laws.

The report by the Special Committee to wait on the President was summarized by its Chairman Dion G. Neth. The Special Committee, as duly appointed by Speaker Isaac V. Figir, was to inform President Emanuel Manny Mori that Congress has convened and to note his issues of priority, if any.

According to its mandate, the Special Committee met with President Mori and produced the following Special Committee Report No. 15-13, in which the President laid out his priorities as follows:

  1. Nominations for various boards and committees of the national government;

  2. A Supplemental Budget of $300,000 to be submitted for appropriation;

  3. A loan guarantee to the FSM Development Bank;

  4. State of the Nation Address for the May session; and

  5. Repeal of the recently enacted law on Social Security.

The report also noted various concerns raised by Special Committee members, concerns among which include the status of relief efforts under the declared Emergency Disaster. Members expressed on the floor their disappointment with the lack of information about the efforts expended under the emergency declared in January. They reminded the President's representative that Congress still awaits the status report on the emergency relief efforts.

Congress discussed the report at length and finally adopted it in its entirety.

Following the adoption of the report, Congress moved on to the order of business and placed several bills and nomination resolutions on the calendar. The Congressional Resolutions (CR) are:

C.R. 15-201, a nomination of Aren Palik as a member of the Joint Trust Fund Committee;

C.R. 15-202, a nomination of Fabian S. Nimea also as a member of the Joint Trust Fund Committee; and the finally

C.R. 15-203, the nomination of Francis Itimai as the National Government representative on the Board of Director for the National Oceanic Resources Management Authority (NORMA).

Congressional Bills (CB) placed on the day's calendar include two measures to change uses of certain funds previously appropriated in Chuuk and Pohnpei - CB No. 15-189 and CB No. 15-190. Then there is CB 15-192, a bill to replenish $70,000 to the operating expenses of the Legislative Branch of the National Government.

A measure that elicited a healthy discussion was CB No. 15-19. The bill proposes to repeal in its entirety, the recently passed social security law, Public Law 15-73. The amendments to the Social Security Act became law a week prior to the convening of the special session. And as noted in the Special Committee Report 15-13, repeal of the law is among the President's priority for this session.

The other measure is CB No. 15-153, a bill proposed to "properly place the Project Management Unit for the Compact Infrastructure Grants under the appropriate Department at the FSM National Government." The unit as currently housed under the Office of the President had been an issue of concern that Congress raised on various occasion and had so expressed in C.R. 15-200 adopted during its January session.

Like the resolution, CB No. 15-153 was a measure introduced during a past session and was placed on the calendar for action in what may be the final session of the 15th Congress.

Following the introduction and placement of legislative measures, Congress recessed to reconvene the following day at the same time, same place.

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