Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori calls for greater Congress prioritization of national needs

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): April 15, 2008 - President Manny Mori has once again called on the FSM Congress to give priority to funding of national and nation-wide projects and activities in its appropriations of public funds.

President Mori reiterated his call after the FSM Congress over-rode his partial veto of Congressional Bill No. 15-94 C.D.3 appropriating $3,780,000 for certain public projects and social programs in four states, during the Special Session of Congress held in Palikir from March 24 to April 4, 2008.

On March 2, prior to the Special Session, President Mori signed the Congress public projects bill into law after slashing $483,500 in line items. In his letter to Congress on March 20, 2008 explaining his line item veto, President Mori called on Congress to work within the public funding laws, to be mindful of equitable funding apportionment amongst the states, and to give priority consideration to projects that serve clearly national and nation-wide needs.

President Mori said he also wanted to ask Congress members that their public project appropriations be subjected to joint prior discussion with the Executive branch before final Congress appropriation. The President noted that at present he only sees Congress public project funding proposals when they come before him in the final bill for his signature. As a result, when he is compelled to veto any items there is unnecessary conflict and strife created with the Congress. He suggested that this could be avoided or reduced if there was prior consultation between the two branches of government on Congress member appropriations.

President Mori said he was also disappointed that he had not been able to have a comprehensive discussion with members of the Congress on public project appropriations and on the national funding priorities that he had proposed for their alternate consideration. However, he said the Special Session was a full and busy session so he looked forward to a more thorough and careful discussion with Congress members on issues of national and nation-wide funding priorities at a more convenient time.

President Mori called on the members of Congress and state leaders to work with him to give effect to their common duty under the FSM Constitution, in particular in accordance with Article XIII Section 3 that states that it is the solemn duty of the national and state governments to uphold the provisions of this Constitution and to advance the principles of unity upon which the Constitution is founded.

President Mori said that it has become a practice of the Congress to appropriate and allocate the meager funds of the National Government to community and state projects but that, in doing so, the members of Congress seem to lose sight of their primary obligations to provide and support projects and programs of nation-wide application and concern.

President Mori pointed out that the national government is the catalyst to foster and advance the principle of unity and a sense of Nationalism across the Federated States of Micronesia, and in the spirit of national unity he urgently called upon the Congress to prioritize several critical national and nation-building programs in their future appropriations.

The President referred the Congress to eleven national issue areas and programs that urgently require funding attention: (1) FSM Social Security Program (2) FSM Pension Plan (3) MiCare Program and Referral Hospital (4) Face-lifting the National Capitol (5) The Strategic Development Plan (6) Compact Infrastructure Development Plant (IDP) (7) Public-Private Balance (8) Human Resource Development/Marketable Skills (9) Infrastructure Maintenance Fund (IMF) Matching (10) Multi-Purpose Building (11) Consultation and Prioritization.

President Mori emphasized that the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia gain strength from their unity as a single nation encompassing a large portion of the Western Central Pacific Ocean. The President said he will continue to draw public attention and support for a higher degree of national awareness, unity and national pride across the Nation but he pointed out that the FSM National Government as a whole must ensure that national and nation-wide priorities are addressed in a timely, comprehensive and effective manner to make the fruits of that unity more real for all of the people of the Nation.

The President regrets very much that this information could not be released sooner but this is unfortunately due to his office's use of a part-time Public Information Officer until appointment of a permanent one.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356