The House of Representatives will soon be acting on a bill to allow for the use of hand-to-hand combat to solve disputes regarding legislation that does not muster enough votes to be passed by the either the House or the Senate.
House Bill 21-69, or The Commonwealth Grudge Match Act of 2019 as its titled, and introduced by Rep. Luis John DLG Castro (R-Saipan), master of ceremonies for Trench Tech mixed-martial arts events, aims to curb stalemates in passing legislation by mandating both the author of the bill and the representative or senator blocking its passage to settle their disputes via a single knockdown boxing match.
“In my career as a ring announcer and watching fights through the last several years, I’ve observed that grudge matches have been very effective in resolving disputes between rival fighters or fight camps, or in our case between the majority and the minority,” Castro said when briefing reporters about the proposed legislation.
If passed, the bill states that, should a dispute arise in voting for a bill, the House speaker or the Senate president will declare that the two representatives or senators not in concurrence with each other’s opinions will be mandated to resolve their differences via a single knockdown boxing match. Whoever wins the fight will end up winning the other side’s support and allow for smooth passage of legislation in session.
One of the bill’s subsections states that, “Trench Tech MMA will be the authorized entity to provide logistics via usage of their octagonal cage, their boxing gloves as well as in sanctioning any legislative grudges.”
“What this aims to do is limit the amount of arguing we do up on the Hill and, instead of verbal sparring, we can come to an agreement based on actions speaking louder than words,” said House Speaker Blas Jonathan Tenorio Attao (R-Saipan).
According to sources, the bill has the support of both the majority and the minority.
“I’ve honestly considered [introducing] a bill like this,” said House minority leader Rep. Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan), “and I think it may have some leeway in settling matters that simple discussion might not be able to address. I personally have trained myself, and if the need comes where push comes to shove, my left cross will be ready to deliberate.”
When asked for comments, Trench Tech president and MMA pioneer Cuki Alvarez said, “This is the best thing since sliced bread. Some of us are tired of the political bickering our elected officials have done over the years, and I feel we should allow them an alternative for resolving differences.”
Alvarez indicated that statistics have shown via Sherdog that Trench Tech has had a 100 percent success rate in preventing disputes from escalating via their sanctioning of grudge matches at their events.
“What happens in the cage has usually stayed in the cage and, if this bill passes, it will take a lot of the crazy stuff debating usually brings and compromises it into one ultimate and standing decision.”
If the bill passes the Legislature, it takes effect immediately upon receiving the governor’s signature. When asked for comment, Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres said, “While we respect the legislative process, Lt. Gov. Palacios and I believe this bill is innovative and thoughtful as we create a more deliberative and collaborative Legislature.”
“Finding consensus can be difficult and oftentimes contentious,” Torres said, “but this bill settles all disputes through action and not necessarily by the same old words. I look forward to seeing this make its way through the Senate and on my desk for action.”
Torres also told reporters he is considering asking the Legislature to add an amendment to allow the governor to referee any and all grudge matches.
Alvarez, for his part added, “I really hope this bill passes, and I would like to wish all our potential legislative competitors the best of luck and all our supporters Happy April 1st!” (Trench Tech)