Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Congress News, August 28, 2003

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): August 28, 2003 - With all fourteen members present, Speaker Peter M. Christian called the 3rd day of the Second Special Session of the 13th FSM Congress to order yesterday morning.

President Joseph J. Urusemal submitted to Speaker Christian two communications. A proposed bill for the FY 2004 budget and an invitation to the Speaker to attend the meeting of the interim JEMCO (Joint Economic Management Committee) scheduled to take place on August 26, 2003.

Under Departmental Communications, Speaker received a letter from Ihlen K. Joseph., Acting Secretary, Department of Finance & Administration regarding the Department's revised and updated revenue projection for the FSM National Government for FY 2003 and also a proposed amendment to the current FSM Customs Regulations.

Due to the uncertainty of immediate US financial assistance pertaining to the proposed amended Compact, Members discussed at length an alternative approach in case US Congress does not approve the amended Compact by October 1, 2004. Appropriating funding for the first quarter of FY 2004 using local revenues seemed to be an acceptable approach by most Members. The idea of tapping into the Trust Fund account was vigorously debated among Members. It has yet to be determined whether the Trust Fund money could be used or not.

There were three bills passed first readings. Congressional Bll No. 13-33 is a proposed bill to amend Public Law No. 9-100, to reallocate funds appropriated for certain grants in the Southern Namoneas in the State of Chuuk, to change allottee of funds, to change the lapse date, and to remove a requirement for consultation with Members of Congress. Congressional Bill No. 13-34 CD1 is a proposed bill to amend title 55 of the FSM Code, as amended, by amending section 106 to change the date by which the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia must enact an annual budget. CB No. 13-35 is a proposed bill to further amend Public Law No. 12-12, as amended, by amending section 13 thereof, to change the uses of funds appropriated for capital improvement, development programs, and projects and human resources development in the State of Chuuk.

Congressional Resolution No. 13-38 was unanimously adopted. The resolution approving the grant from the United States secretary of Labor under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title 1, National Emergency Grant (NEG) to the Federated States of Micronesia referenced in the amount of $2,350,000 for the purposes of providing temporary jobs for eligible dislocated workers and to assist in the cleaning and restoration activities in the State of Chuuk following the wake of Tropical Storm Chata'an.

The Chairman of the Committee to Wait on the President made an oral report on the floor and immediately thereafter Congress unanimously adopted the said report. The Committee was chaired by Vice Speaker Claude H. Phillip, and included members Isaac Figir, Dohsis Halbert, and Roosevelt Kansou. Senator Jack Fritz from Chuuk, thanked members for adopting Congressional Resolution No. 13-38, which will help alleviate the current Chuuk financial crisis. Senator Fritz urged that the process of disbursing the funds be immediately put into action so that the recipients of such funds can be benefited. Senator At-large from Chuuk also thanked the President for transmitting the US grant to Congress to act on.

Congress is in recess starting at 11:30 a.m. and will reconvene Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 10 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