Rep. Angel A. Demapan (R-Saipan), who is locked in a political contest with incumbent Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) for the delegate position, thinks that Sablan’s action related to the urgent legislation pertaining to the CNMI’s foreign worker program could be harmful to the bill’s passage.
In a letter to U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), who is helping the CNMI shepherd the CW legislation’s passage in the U.S. House of Representatives, expressed worry over the passage of the new CW bill after Sablan “took to the steps of the Capitol with a handful of Democratic colleagues to grandstand and ridicule Republican leadership.”
“…While this may be considered the norm in national politics during an election year, I have grave concerns over such unwelcome conduct at a time when the CNMI is leaning on Republican leaders like yourself and [U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)] to move an extremely important legislation through Congress and onto the desk of the U.S. President,” Demapan wrote Bishop.
Demapan added that he hopes Bishop could “look beyond the political posturing of the CNMI delegate” and remain “focused on the economic livelihood” of the NMI.
Saipan Tribune could not immediately obtain Sablan’s comments on the letter.
“I humbly apologize for the efforts of others who choose to go the extra mile to sabotage the work so many of our Commonwealth stakeholders have collectively worked on with you and chairman Murkowski to ensure that the CNMI is afforded the best deal for the long-term,” Demapan added in his letter.
The U.S. House Parliamentarian had ruled that a provision in Murkowski’s S.2325 would generate revenue—a source of a parliamentary problem since revenue-generating bills could only originate from the U.S. House. S.2325 was amended to include an anti-fraud fee, causing the parliamentary problem.
S.2325 seeks to reset the CW cap for fiscal year 2019 to 13,000; provide additional validity to long-time CW workers; and extend the CNMI transitional period, along with programs under it such as the CW program and the E-2C investor program, to fiscal year 2029. It unanimously passes the U.S. Senate.