PALIKIR, POHNPEI – September 14, 2017. On Thursday morning September 14, 2017, the 20th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened in Palikir for its Second Regular Session also known as the national budget session to pass the national government’s budget operations for the upcoming fiscal year – FY 2018.
Witnesses to the morning’s opening session were the President Peter M. Christian and Vice President Yosiwo P. George along with members of the Cabinet along with the heads of the various offices and agencies of the FSM national government. Also present for the morning’s opening was the Governor of the State of Chuuk, Johnson Elimo, the Dean and Members of the Resident Diplomatic Corp and two newly accredited non-resident ambassadors: Ambassador Leon Malazogu of the Republic of Kosovo and Ambassador Karena Lyons of New Zealand.
Also in the gallery Thursday morning was a special delegation of students and staff from the private Jesuit research university in Japan, Sophia University. The former Ambassador to the FSM, Shoji Sato, was dual hatted as a professor of Sophia University and also the Executive Director of Japan’s Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation led the delegation. The Office of the Speaker hosted a few local delicacies, fruits and coconut drinks outside of the chamber for the visiting delegation.
Following the introductions and recognition of witnesses in the gallery, Speaker Simina appointed the Committee to Wait on the President to be chaired by Senator Alik L. Alik with Senator Esmond B. Moses, Senator Robson U. Romolow and Senator Joseph J. Urusemal as members. A time was set up for the Committee to meet with the Executive leadership and inform the President that Congress is in session and inquire as to the executive’s agenda for Congress attention, if any.
After the dispensing with the day’s agenda, the Congress adjourned its ceremonial opening of the second regular session for the Body to get down to its work. Chairman Alik and the committee met with Vice President Yosiwo P. George and brought up five areas that Congress have agreed to focus on for its Second Regular Session: (1) FY-2018 Budget; (2) Assistance to foreign States for natural disaster relief; (3) Issues surrounding FSMTC; (4) pending nominations and grants; and (5) the possibility of establishing a consulate office on the U.S. West Coast.
The Vice President shared an Executive Branch priority list similar to the Congress with the following exception that he request Congress to consider: (1) Foreign Investment Policy Work; (2) World Bank Fiber Optic Cable project; and (3) MiCare.
The Second Regular Session of the 20th Congress is for 20 days and will adjourn on Tuesday October 3, 2017 unless shortened or extended by resolution. As usual, the Congress sessions are open to interested members of the general public.
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