“In Congress, there are show horses and there are workhorses. Your congressman is a workhorse.”
It was with those words of praise that Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Maryland) endorsed the re-election bid of Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) yesterday.
“As the Democratic leader most involved in the day-to-day flow of bills on the floor of the House, Steny Hoyer has been absolutely essential to everything I have been able to accomplish for the people of the Marianas,” Sablan said. “I appreciate his words of confidence and look forward to working with him as the Majority Leader of a Democratic majority House of Representatives next year.”
Hoyer’s endorsement letter states in part: “I was proud to work with Congressman Sablan this year to pass his U.S. Workforce Act through the House of Representatives.”
“For every bill that comes to the floor, [Sablan] is focused on how it will impact the people of the Marianas and what he can do to protect your interests,” the letter added.
Sablan said that Hoyer’s help was essential to passage of the U.S. Workforce Act, also known as the CW bill. “He had to approved bringing the bill to the floor for a vote under suspension of the rules and his office had to assure other Democrats that a bill allowing more foreign workers into the United States was okay to vote for. That is how we got the Workforce Act passed without any dissenting votes.”
Sablan also credits Hoyer with playing a key role in the passage of the Northern Mariana Islands Economic Expansion Act in August 2017. That bill temporarily allowed more foreign workers into the Commonwealth.
“More importantly, [that bill] permanently raised the amount of money that has to go for training U.S. workers in the Commonwealth,” Sablan said.
The extra training money has gone to pay for college scholarships, among other uses. Starting next year, use of the funds will be subject to rigorous new standards to ensure that the dollars spent result in U.S. workers employed in the Commonwealth.
“Steny helped me get the bill passed when everyone had gone home for the August recess, something that was theoretically possible, but almost never done,” Sablan explained. “Even after 10 years in Congress, there are still new tricks to learn about the legislative process—and how to make it work for the people of the Marianas.” (PR)