Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Congress News, October 15, 2003

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): October 15, 2003 - Congress met briefly in session yesterday, but no quorum was present. Speaker Peter Christian adjourned the session until today, Wednesday, October 15. He informed the seven Members who were present that he intends to begin all daily sessions on time at ten o'clock. Immediately after this brief session, Congress and key staff met with the President, members of his cabinet and members of the JCN in the Congressional Chamber, where all present were briefed by the JCN on the status of the amended Compact in the US Congress.

The JCN reported that the amended Compact is now with both the House and Senate of the U.S. Congress for review and investigation. It reported that some provisions including provisions pertaining to FEMA, inflation adjustment and immigration have been marked up or down in different ways by both houses, resulting in different suggested versions coming out of each house. The differences of opinion expressed by the House and Senate may cause further delays in the passing and implementation of the amended Compact. When asked when the documents might come to its final approval, JCN members indicated that at this point, they couldn't accurately predict when the U.S. Congress would pass the document. JCN also reported that there might be changes in FSM eligibility for some of the U.S. Federal education programs. The U.S. Congress is considering "cashing out" a significant number of these programs rather continuing an eligibility-based system of program delivery. A spokesman for the JCN indicated that this could in fact be advantageous for the FSM.

There was discussion regarding the 1-month Continuing Resolution that U.S. has passed. The FSM will receive one month of interim funding by way of the Continuing Resolution to bridge the gap created by the expiring of the former Compact and the delay in passage of the amended Compact.

Speaker Christian and other Members of Congress expressed serious concern and dismay about the language of the Continuing Resolution.

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