US Congressman Sablan Will Ask Senate To Put CNMI Guest Worker Visa Bill On ‘Hotline’

Bill will increase the CW cap for fiscal year 2017 from 12,998 to 15,000, also pushing for CNMI healthcare issues

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, April 10, 2017) – U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan says he will ask the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to put his bill, H.R. 339, on the “hotline.”

The bill will increase the CW cap for fiscal year 2017 from 12,998 to 15,000.

Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 30, 2017, the bill is now with the U.S. Senate committee chaired by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

In an interview on Saturday, Kilili said the U.S. Senate “is still very busy with confirmations…as well as judiciary matters, but the bill is now with Energy and Natural Resources and we would like to ask Senator Murkowski to put the bill on hotline.”

Kilili added, “Any senator can put a bill on hold. It’s a process and we would like to make that clear. We are working on it to put the bill on hotline. If it’s on hotline, and if no one objects after a certain period of time, then it’s brought to the floor and passed or brought to the floor for consideration.”

He said he also has another bill “ready for introduction and based on the 902 report — I am just waiting for [H.R. 339] to get through and waiting for the governor to give me the green light so I can introduce [the new bill]. But…it is based on the 902 recommendations,” referring to last year’s consultations between the CNMI government and the Obama White House.

Kilili said he is also working on CNMI healthcare issues, including the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s need for critical healthcare personnel.

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