Gov. Ralph DLG Torres was informed early Friday morning by Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, that he has officially re-introduced the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I have been informed by Chairman Bishop that the legislation, now known as H.R. 5956, has been introduced in the House today and that he is pushing for quick passage by the full House of Representatives.
“H.R. 5956 includes the original text of the recently passed S. 2325 in the Senate, along with the blue-slipped language negotiated by my office, the Office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and the Department of Homeland Security and now cleared by the House Committee on Ways and Means.
“The blue-slipped language refers to the fraud prevention and detection fee, which initially posed a constitutional problem because it was considered revenue. And since all revenue-generating bills must originate in the House, the language was then fully incorporated into this new version so that we can get it through the House as soon as possible then onto the Senate. The bill is also renamed to include ‘of 2018’ in the short title to distinguish it from the various other versions of the bill floating around Congress.
“I cannot thank Chairman Bishop enough for his professionalism and work to resolve the concerns raised by the Ways and Means Committee. We are almost there, and I will continue to work closely with him as we see H.R. 5956 move forward in the House.
“The work done together with him and Chairwoman Murkowski will ensure that we will have legislation passed that protects and develops U.S. workers, acknowledges our long-term guest workers and their families, and strengthens existing safeguards against bad actors in our economy. Their assistance and concern for our Commonwealth’s wellbeing is appreciated by everyone who calls these islands home and will lead to positive impacts for our families, our businesses, and our community at large.” (PR)