Republican News

Jul 15 2003

COMMITTEE HEARS TESTIMONY ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO U.S.-MARSHALL-MICRONESIA COMPACT

DOMENICI URGES CONGRESS TO AMEND COMPACT BEFORE IT EXPIRES

Washington, D.C. – The Energy & Natural Resources Committee today heard testimony regarding the Administration’s proposed amendments to the Compact of Free Association with the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Chairman Domenici, along with Senators Bingaman, Craig and Akaka, has introduced S. J. Res. 16, the Administration’s proposed amendments to the Compact which extend the U.S.’s unique relationship with the islands for an additional 20 years. The legislation continues U.S. economic assistance and encourages economic-self reliance through the establishment of trust funds. In addition, each nation, including the United States, will have increased oversight and accountability responsibilities. In particular, the legislation calls for annual funding to address the impact of migration from the Marshall Islands and Micronesia to neighboring Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The legislation maintains U.S. defense rights and provides access to the Kwajalein military facilities for the next 50 to 70 years. The hearing today did not examine issues resulting from WW II bombing on the islands. Chairman Domenici announced the committee would conduct an oversight hearing on those issues in the near future. The 1986 compact expired two years ago. Congress renewed the compact until September 30, 2003. Chairman Domenici opened the hearing by urging the House and Senate to act swiftly to amend the Compact before it expires. ###