CNMI Congressman Sablan: Delegates Bring Concerns to New Ranking Member Peter DeFazio

256

Washington D.C. – Territorial Delegates briefed new Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Peter DeFazio about a variety of legislative concerns including the impacts of military activity, high energy costs, and the need for economic development incentives targeted to U.S. territories. 

The Delegates from the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands and the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico urged DeFazio to work with the Committee’s Republican leadership to schedule hearings on H.R. 2200, which is a compilation of legislative initiatives from each of the islands. 

“I am very appreciative that Mr. DeFazio took the time to review our legislative agenda,” Sablan said. “Insular area policy is under the jurisdiction of the Natural Resources Committee, so it is important that the Democratic leader on the Committee be fully informed of our legislative goals.”  


[Insular area representatives Eni F.V. Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa), Donna M.C. Christensen (U.S. Virgin Islands), Madeleine Z. Bordallo (Guam), Pedro R. Pierluisi (Puerto Rico), and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands) met with Rep. Peter DeFazio (center) to discuss territorial legislative issues today. DeFazio is the new Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, which has jurisdiction over insular affairs.]

READ the release from Congressman Sabalan below:

Delegates bring concerns to new Ranking Member Peter DeFazio

Washington, D.C. – At the request of Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan the new Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, Peter DeFazio (D–Oregon), met with representatives of the U.S. insular areas today. The Delegates from the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands and the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico used the occasion to brief DeFazio on a variety of legislative concerns. DeFazio took over the Ranking Member position on the Committee after the election of Ed Markey, the previous Ranking Member, to the U.S. Senate.

“I am very appreciative that Mr. DeFazio took the time to review our legislative agenda,” Sablan said. “Insular area policy is under the jurisdiction of the Natural Resources Committee, so it is important that the Democratic leader on the Committee be fully informed of our legislative goals.”

Sablan, himself, is the Ranking Member on the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs, and so took responsibility for making sure that the Delegates and Resident Commissioner had this opportunity.

Attending the briefing with Mr. DeFazio were Delegates Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa), Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), and Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands), and Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico).

Among the issues discussed at today’s meeting was Sablan’s Territorial Omnibus Act, H.R. 2200, which is a compilation of legislative initiatives from each of the insular areas. That bill also has a companion in the Senate, S. 1237, introduced at Sablan’s request by Ron Wyden (D–Oregon), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, together with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the Committee’s Ranking Member. The Senate Committee had a hearing on S. 1237 bill on July 11.

The insular areas representative urged DeFazio to work with the Committee’s Republican leadership to schedule hearings on H.R. 2200 and other matters important to the islands, including the impacts of military activity, high energy costs, and the need for economic development incentives targeted to U.S. territories.