Insular Affairs: Senate Passes Compacts of Free Association

November 6, 2003
02:25 PM
Some say that “the sun never sets on the jurisdiction of the Senate Energy Committee.” We don’t know if that’s technically accurate, but we do know that ENR has jurisdiction over all U.S. territories, from the Virgin Islands in the east to Guam in the west. So, we’re pleased that the Senate today passed bipartisan legislation which amends certain provisions of the Compacts of Free Association between the Federated States of Micronesia and the U.S and between the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the U.S. Reporters who cover Pacific Island issues, or have readers/ viewers/listeners in Hawaii, Guam, Australia, New Zealand and maybe Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, are probably familiar with this legislation. One item of regional interest is that H.R. 63 would provide $30 million a year for 20 years to be divided among Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Samoa as compensation to mitigate the impacts of migrants from Micronesia and the Marshall Islands to these U.S. areas. Sens. Domenici, Bingaman, Craig and Akaka co-sponsored the bill.

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