Good credit? Bad credit?


I read the February 2018 letter to the editor from our Delegate Gregorio Sablan with a bit of shock. Not that Kilili is taking credit for things he may or may not have done, or that he is finding explanations for his lack of accomplishments, but that he is actually taking credit for today’s current crisis regarding the CW workers.

I looked back to see if this was true. In a June 2014 article titled “Kilili: CW extension debate is over,” Delegate Kilili celebrated the U.S. Department of Labor’s decision to extend the CW program to 2019, as the extension was in the U.S. DOL’s authority under U.S. Public Law 110-229. It was good news at the time as it extended access to CW workers ’till 2019 and, when 2019 arrived, the CNMI can make its case for an additional five-year extension, again provided by U.S. Public Law 110-229.

Then something strange happened. In December 2014, a bill came into the picture that ended the CW program in 2019 and removed future extensions from being granted. That bill was H.R. 83 and it created the situation we are in today. Funny thing is that Kilili, in his February 2018 letter to the editor, championed that bill as an example of using his “piggybacking” ability to move bills in Washington. He said “Leadership called me and said: Congressman, would it be okay if we piggyback the omnibus appropriation bill on to H.R. 83, the territories bill that extends the CW program from 2014 to 2019.” But, remember only a few months before H.R. 83, the transition was already extended to 2019.

If it wasn’t for H.R. 83, we would not be needing to talk about new laws through Congress or witness him fight to claim credit. Kilili started this fire and wants us to thank him for bringing the water to put it out. And he’s proud of that. We are all aware of Kilili taking credit for things he did not do, but it is strange that he would take credit for creating this economic turmoil and disruption we are experiencing today.

Sylvan Olopai Igisomar
Cypress, California

Sylvan Olopai Igisomar

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