Guam – Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan has kept his seat on the critically important Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs Subcommittee andalso retained membership on the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee. The Congressman won the appointments during the organizational meeting of the Democratic caucus of the House Natural Resources Committee Tuesday in Washington. All five of the insular area representatives are on the Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the islands. In addition, two New Jersey representatives, Frank Pallone and Rush Holt joined the panel.
“Now that both the Republican and Democratic caucuses have made their subcommittee selections, I look forward to getting to work on the issues of importance to our islands – and to the nation at large,” said Sablan.
The Energy and MineralResources Subcommittee, which Sablan returns to, will have a central role in decisions about the use of federal resources for energy development. The Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Committee, in addition to oversight of insular matters, also has a broad mandate over the regulation and development of ocean resources, which are of particular importance to islands.
Sablan is new to the Agriculture Committee. But he was able to win one of the coveted slots on Agriculture’s Nutrition and Horticulture Subcommittee, when that Committee’s Democrats organized on Tuesday.
“I have made no secret of my concern for families in the Marianas who are struggling to put food on the table,” Kilili said.
“The Nutrition Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the food stamp program – which I want to see strengthened and made more fair for Tinian and Rota. But I also want to make sure the Marianas is fully utilizing all the food programs that the Department of Agriculture has to offer.”
Sablan is also now a member of the Conservation, Energy, and Forestry Subcommittee of the Agriculture Committee. “Making sure that rural areas, like the NMI, have sufficient, affordable electricity is part of the Subcommittee’s responsibility,” Sablan says.
“Small watershed projects, like Kagman, also fall under the jurisdiction of the Conservation, Energy, and Forestry Subcommittee. And, in addition, the full Committee works on other aspects of rural development, agriculture and small farm development, and aquaculture.
“There’s lots of work to do,” Kilili says, “and lots of legislative opportunities to improve the lives of people in the Northern Mariana Islands.”