PALIKIR, POHNPEI. September 23, 2015 – The Second Regular Session of the 19th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened on September 14 and seated the newly elected Member of the Body and tackled the National Government Budget for fiscal year 2016.
Senator Esmond B. Moses was sworn into office as the newest member of the 19th Congress on September 14, 2014. Mrs. Aileen Gallen Moses accompanied her husband during the Oath of Office as administered by Speaker Wesley W. Simina. The short ceremony in the chamber was witnessed by Vice President Yosiwo P. George; Cabinet members; members of the Diplomatic Corps; and close friends and families which included his uncle the paramount chief of U Municipality, the Honorable Sahngoro Pedro Moses.
September sessions are usually to address the upcoming budget year for the national government, but Congress in its first week had to address payroll shortfall in both the Executive and Legislative Branches. Through Congressional Act (CA) 19-28, the Congress shifted and reappropriated funds within the Legislative Branch to address its payroll and lifted the reprogramming restriction on the Executive Branch so it too can meet its payroll requirements.
Another major measure passed by the Congress is CA 19-29, which dissolved the office of Statistics, Budget, Overseas Development Assistance and COMPACT Management better known as SBOC in order to better improve the efficiency of the Executive Branch. The functions previously assigned to SBOC would return to the existing executive departments and agencies at the discretion of the President.
Congress also passed CA 19-30 and CA 19-31, measures which changed the allottees and use of certain funds previously appropriated to fund public projects and social programs in the four states.
The final measure passed by Congress this week is an override of Presidential veto of CA 19-25, which called for the repeal of the Public Law 14-48. The law related to the implementation of the FSM’s Infrastructure Development Plan under which, according to interpretations, gave the FSM Congress exclusive jurisdiction to appropriate compact infrastructure funds.
The Second Regular Session of the 19th Congress as convened on September 14 is scheduled to adjourn on October 03,2015, but may be shortened or extended through resolution. Sessions of Congress, as always, is open to the interested general public.