US House Approves Measure to Extend Palau’s Educational Grant
Washington, D.C. (November 28, 2007) – The United States House of Representatives have approved H.R. 2705 – Compacts of Free Association Amendments Act of 2007. The bill was introduced on June 13 of this year by Chairwoman of the House of Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Rep. Donna Christensen (D, VI) and co-sponsored by Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D, GU), Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D, AS), Rep. Luis Fortuno (R, PR), and Rep. Brad Sherman (D, CA).
The bill makes several changes to the Compact relationship between the U.S. and the Freely Associated States – Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of the Marshall Islands. Some of the changes are listed below:
- Extends Palau's eligibility to participate in the United States' educational programs through the year 2009.
- Sets up a fund for the maintenance of Palau's Compact Road.
- Makes the U.S. Agency for International Development the lead federal agency in providing future disaster-related assistance to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia.
- Clarifies the eligibility of the citizens of Freely Associated States residing in the states or territories to receive the legal assistance provided by the Legal Services Corporation.
- Reinstates Freely Associated States' access to the transmission of videotaped programming which those islands previously had access to under trust territory status.
A related bill was introduced in the United States Senate on January 12 by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D, NM) and co-sponsored by Sen. Pete Domenici (R, NM) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D, AR). On February 12, the bill was reported without amendment and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 42.
For full bill text for H.R. 2705, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.2705: and for S. 283, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:S.283:.