Murkowski to lead codel to NMI


A U.S. senator took up Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ invitation to visit the CNMI as discussions on the CNMI worker transition period continue on the U.S. Senate floor.

In a social media post over the weekend, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres confirmed that U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will be leading a congressional delegation to visit the CNMI this month.

Murkowski led the bipartisan, bicameral working group composed of several key U.S. congressmen as well as other officials such as Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) and Torres in hammering out the CW extension bill, S. 2325.

Murkowski chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which just recently adopted her bill, S. 2325, with an amendment in the form of a substitute.

S. 2325 extends the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker program from 2019 to 2029. That includes extending other programs such as the CW program, which is a non-immigrant visa permit tailored for the CNMI, and the E-2C investor program.

Majority of the current workforce consists of CW permit holders.

“I am grateful that she has told me she will be leading a congressional delegation to come here on March 27. I look forward to welcoming her and the delegation to the CNMI soon,” said Torres in the social media post.

In the same post, Torres explained that the invitation is intended to give Murkowski a “first-hand view of the economy” they are trying to build for the “community and the challenges we are facing toward even greater levels of progress.

Torres told Saipan Tribune last Feb. 28 that he invited Murkowski and members of her committee to visit the CNMI so she could personally observe the challenges and progresses made in the Commonwealth.

“[The committee] can look into how to better our system here when decisions are made in Washington, D.C.,” Torres had said.

The last time a congressional delegation visited the CNMI was last year, when the group visited Rota.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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