Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

Fifth Regular Session of Congress convenes; seats new Senator Kofot

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): September 13, 2008 - The 15th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened its Fifth Regular Session today and also inducted the new representative of Chuuk State's Election District Two, Senator Tesime Kofot.

Congress went into recess immediately after this morning's convening formalities to allow the Credential Committee time to review its mandate as assigned by Speaker Isaac V. Figir. The Committee was chaired by Senator Fredrico O. Primo with members comprised of Senator Peter Sitan, Senator Joseph J. Urusemal and Senator Paliknoa K. Welly.

The session reconvened after the committee emerged from behind closed doors where the Senator's credentials were carefully reviewed and considered. Chairman Primo reported to Speaker Figir that Senator-elect Kofot possesses full qualifications for and is eligible to be a member of the FSM Congress.

With the adoption of the Credential Committee Report, the Senator-elect Kofot took to the floor for the Oath of Office with Mrs. Benry Kofot at his side with the Bible.

Associate Justice Dennis K. Yamase administered the oath to the new Senator who promised, to the best of his ability, "to uphold, promote and support, the Laws and Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia..."

Following the Oath of Office, Congress resumed its Order of Business - which was slightly longer than it normally is: 60 Miscellaneous Communications, 47 Presidential Communications and communications from the Departments, States, Foreign Governments totaling in the high 30's, while the Judiciary Branch brought up the low end of submissions with less than 10 communications.

Under Order of the Day, the Congressional Committees were assigned several bills for review. The Committee on Judicial and Governmental Operations (J&GO) was assigned the following bills:

Congressional Bill 15-135, a bill to limit the eligibility for entry permits of spouses and unmarried children of noncitizen principles;

C.B. 15-137, a bill to amend the FSM Constitution for purposes of State secession; and

C.B. 15-139, a bill regarding entry permits for self-supporting retirees.

The Committee on Resources and Development (R&D) received the following assignment:

C.B. 15-136, a bill referencing various components of the FSM Airline Corporation - appointment and composition of the Board of Directors along with a time-limit for Board members.

The following measures were assigned to the Committee on Ways and Means (W&M):

C.B. 15-140, a bill to change the lapse date of certain funds previously appropriated.

And finally, the Committees on W&M and R&D were jointly assigned Congressional Bill 15-138, a measure that proposes to amend the FSM Code for purposes of returning the Budget Office to the Department of Finance and Administration and the functions of economic planning to the Department of Resources and Development.

Normal to the opening of every Congress sessions, the Chambers were packed with high level officials and dignitaries such as: President Emanuel 'Manny' Mori and members of his Cabinet; Pohnpei State Governor John Ehsa; Speaker of the Kosrae State Legislature Lyndon H. Jackson; members of the Diplomatic Corps - which included Ambassador Liu Fei from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Ambassador Shoji Sato from the Embassy of Japan, along with the Deputy Chiefs of Mission from the US Embassy - William Douglas and Australian Embassy - Janet Whitaker.

Following the assignments to the committee and after various announcements, Speaker Figir gaveled the FSM Congress to recess until 10 am the next day - Saturday, September 13, 2008.

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