PALIKIR, POHNPEI – September 27, 2019. Following weeks of intense and detailed hearings with the national departments and offices, the 21st Congress passed a budget for the National
Government for fiscal year 2020 and confirmed nominations for the diplomatic missions of Federated States of Micronesia.
During its final week, the Second Regular Session of the 21st Congress passedCongressional Act (CA) 21-48 to approve a budget of $ 62,063,148 for operations of the FSM National Government for fiscal year 2020 which starts on October 1, 2019 and ends September 30, 2020. According to CA 21-48, the National Government budget is to be apportioned as follows:
Executive Branch - $ 23,430,412;
Legislative Branch -$ 6,295,860;
Judicial Branch - $ 1,724,023;
Public Auditor - $ 895,420;
Agencies of the National Government - $ 3,067,198;
Special Programs - $442,173;
Grants, Subsidies and Contributions - $14,141,639; and
Capital and Human Resources Development - $12,066,423.
Along with the national budget, the Congress also attended to the President’s nominations for the Nation’s diplomatic missions and for his Cabinet.
For the Nation’s overseas missions, the 21st Congress adopted Congressional Resolution (CR) 21-60 to confirm Akillino Susaia as the Nation’s Ambassador to the United States of America based at the FSM Embassy in Washington D.C. Also for the Embassy, the Congress adopted CR 21-55 to confirm Jackson T. Soram to serve as the FSM Deputy Chief of Mission to the U.S.
Earlier in July, the Congress had addressed the FSM Embassy in Japan and adopted CR 21-31 which confirmed John Fritz as the Nation’s Ambassador to Japan as based at the FSM Embassy in Tokyo. Also for the FSM Embassy in Japan, the Congress had adopted CR 21-30, to confirm Roger S. Mori as the FSM’s Deputy Chief of Mission to Japan.
The Congress had also in July adopted CR 21-36 to confirm Wilson Floyd Waguk to serve as the FSM Deputy Chief of Mission to the Nation’s Embassy in Fiji.
And for the FSM’s mission to the United Nations, through CR 21-56, the Congress confirmed Jeem Lippwe to serve as the Deputy Permanent Representative for the FSM Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Rounding out the FSM’s overseas missions, the Congress adopted CR 21-32, for Teresa Filepin to continue her services as the FSM Consul General to Guam and along the same lines adopted CR 21-57, for Joe B. Enlet to also continue his services as the FSM’s Consul General in Portland, Oregon.
For the President’s Cabinet nominations, the Congress adopted CR 21-35 and confirmed Kalwin Kephas to continue his role in the new Administration as the Secretary for the Department of Education. Similarly, through the adoption of CR 21-26, the Congress confirmed Ginger Porter Mida to also continue her role as the Nation’s Post Master General.
During the Second Special Session earlier in July, the Congress had confirmed CR 21-15, for Andrew Yatilman to continue his role as Secretary of the FSM Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Emergency Management. And also during the same session, through CR 21-16, the Congress confirmed Dr. Rufino Mauricio to continue his work as Director of the National Archives, Historic and Cultural Preservation Office.
With the exception of the nomination for the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs which was deferred to the next session of Congress, most of the Cabinet nominations that were submitted for action during the 2nd Regular Session of the 21st Congress were defeated. The defeated nominations are for:
- Secretary for the Department of the Finance and Administration (CR 21-50, Eugene Amor);
- Secretary for the Department of the Health and Social Affairs (CR 21-58, Livingson A. Taulung);
- Secretary for the Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure (CR 21-59, Rob Solomon); and
- Secretary for the Department of Justice (CR 21-61, Joses R. Gallen, Esq.).
The Second Regular Session of the 21st Congress completed its work on the nominations and the national budget and adjourned sine-die on September 27, 2019.
According to law, the next regular session of the Congress will be January 10, 2020 unless a special session is called sooner.
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THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS