Another US congressman, is backing the candidacy of House Speaker Benigno R. Fitial for the Commonwealth’s gubernatorial seat.
US Rep. John Doolitle, of California’s 4th district, said Fitial has a better plan for the Northern Marianas economy, which has turned sour since 1998 due to the Asian economic crisis.
"The CNMI has fallen on hard economic times, but Fitial has a plan for a better future," said Doolittle, who sits as member of the US House Resources Committee, the panel with jurisdiction over US insular areas.
"He wants to create thousands of new jobs that pay good wages. He wants to attract new investors and businesses to the CNMI so that the economy is not dependent on one or two industries," he said.
Doolittle also mentioned the Speaker’s commitment to keep taxes low "so that people can keep more of what they earn." He also noted Fitial’s dedication to the improvement of the quality of education in the Northern Marianas.
"I have seen him get things done. Last year, he persuaded the Congress to authorize two studies of CNMI ports to see whether they could be improved to help the CNMI’s trade business," he said.
Fitial convinced US lawmakers to resurface the airport in Rota through an appropriation of $1.25 million. The project, which started last year, was completed last month.
"Just this year, he successfully convinced both the US House and Senate to challenge the conditions it imposes on federal aid. Ben Fitial can help the CNMI get its economy moving again. He understands what needs to be done, and he knows how to do it," said Doolittle.
Earlier, Rep. Chris Cannon of the 3rd district of Utah threw his support to Fitial’s bid for the gubernatorial seat in the November election. He cited the speaker’s dedication and determination to "make the future bright" for the Commonwealth.
Through Fitial, Cannon said he now has deeper understanding of the problems faced by hundreds of stateless CNMI children and young adults because of an oversight that prevented them from acquiring US citizenship.
Cannon added that Fitial firmly believes that no hardworking CNMI student should be held back because of a mistake they did not create. "And he is right."
"As the vice chair of the House immigration subcommittee, I have promised the speaker that I will work with him to correct this terrible oversight. With Fitial’s passion and leadership, I know we can help the stateless children to join our American family as US citizens," he stressed.