Washington D.C. – NMI Congressman Greg Kilili Sablan’s office says a decision by Labor Secretary Tom Perez on whether to extend the commonwealth-only worker program through 2019, is also now more likely to happen in “January.”
Sablan has been pressing for a decision this year, first by August, then this month, to give businesses enough time to make decisions on new CW applications and continue access to some 12-thousand CW workers.
In other NMI news here, a last-minute compromise Pentagon budget bill still facing possible Senate trouble, would bar any divert airfield spending in the Commonwealth, until the air force reports to congress on various alternatives if Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base can’t be used.
The air force wants a divert field in Saipan. NMI officials including Governor Eloy Inos favor a site in Tinian, where the U.S. already leases two-thirds of the land.
Congressman Sablan pressed for the defense bill provision and agrees, Tinian is a better location versus Saipan, with its limited public land and greater commercial air traffic, inviting undue conflict with military activities.
Finally, the defense bill also sets the stage for an NMI National Guard unit directing the secretary to conduct a feasibility study and report to Congress within 180-days of enactment.