Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio, accompanied by three other administration officials, will leave on September 9 for Washington D.C. to attend the upcoming oversight hearings called by the U.S. House Resources Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Labor and Immigration Sec. Mark Zachares, Mike Sablan, special advisor for finance and budget; and Julia Sandvold, legal counsel for Lt. Gov. Jesus R. Sablan, will join the delegation that will also include members of the Legislature and representatives from the business sector.
This will be Tenorio’s second trip to the U.S. capital in a month following his visit there in early August to appear before the Senate hearing which was called off at the last minute by Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska).
That hearing has been reset for Sept. 14, two days ahead of the House oversight that Resources Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) scheduled on Sept. 16.
Both panels, which have jurisdiction over the Northern Marianas and other U.S. insular areas, are expected to tackle labor and immigration problems in the CNMI as well as status of federal assistance to the island government.
According to Tenorio, he will try to hold talks with U.S. lawmakers and key congressional staff as part of the efforts to drum up support for the Commonwealth’s administration of its labor and immigration.
“Whenever we travel to Washington, we always make an attempt to meet with some members and staff of the Congress,” he said.
Last month, the governor met with several officials and legislators in Washington during his 10-day visit there originally intended to testify before the Senate committee.
Murkowski had announced postponement of the hearing when Tenorio was already on his way to D.C. The rescheduling was prompted by requests from the local business sector to hold it near the date of the House hearing so that it would be less costly for CNMI leaders and officials to travel there.
On Monday, the local chief executive met with Juan N. Babauta, CNMI’s resident representative to Washington, and lawmakers to plan a strategy and fine-tune its “unified position” paper to be presented before the back-to-back hearings.
Aside from these administration officials, others expected to join the delegation are Senate President Paul A. Manglona, House Speaker Diego T. Benavente, Senate Vice President Thomas P. Villagomez, Senate Floor Leader Pete P. Reyes and House Majority Floor Leader Ana S. Teregeyo.
Lynn Knight and David Wiseman from the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and HANMI President Ron Sablan are the representatives from the private sector.