Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) unveiled Wednesday a gift he got from the White House—framed documents of the first and last pages of his H.R. 5956 that President Trump enacted into law, plus the pen that Trump used to sign the bill into law.
Called the “Red Line,” it commemorates the passage of the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018 that extended the Commonwealth’s foreign worker program by 10 years beyond 2019, among other effects of the new law.
“[The White House] usually gives the red line and the pen [used for signing the legislation] to the person responsible for the bill,” said Sablan.
“This legislation gives the Marianas the workforce that it needs. The difference with this bill is that it is more restrictive… When a position opens up and people apply for the position, if there is really a U.S. worker that is qualified and able, then that worker should get that job,” he said.
The document, which Sablan unwrapped at his congressional office in Susupe, also included the pen Trump used to sign H.R. 5956into law.
Trump signed H.R. 5956 as introduced by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) on the wee hours of July 25, 2018. Sablan co-sponsored the bill.
Prior to the introduction of H.R. 5956, Sablan was working with U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on S. 2325, a legislation that was similar in intent to H.R. 5956. Murkowski introduced S. 2325 in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 18, 2018.
S. 2325 successfully found its way out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, chaired also by Murkowski, in the form of a substitute
The U.S. House parliamentarian noted that the changes to S. 2325 should be considered revenue-generating, as the bill contains increased fees as well as additional fees that the U.S. Senate inserted into the legislation.
The U.S. House scrapped S. 2325 in its entirety and re-introduced it as H.R. 5956 through Bishop, with Sablan co-sponsoring the bill. Congress passed the new bill in late June 2018.