This bill deals with a number of different issues relating to U.S. territories. Notably, the bill increases the territory of the Northern Mariana Islands to three miles past its shores, creates an "energy action plan" for the territories, disallows a minimum wage raise in the Northern Mariana Islands, and expands turtle conservation under the Turtle Conservation Act. More details about the omnibus bill are offered below.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The house has not voted
House Committee on Natural ResourcesHouse Committee on Energy and CommerceEnergy and PowerHouse Committee on Education and the WorkforceHouse Committee on Financial ServicesHouse Committee on Transportation and InfrastructureHouse Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- house Committees
- The senate Passed June 18th, 2014Passed by Voice Vote
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural ResourcesIntroducedJune 27th, 2013
- senate Committees
What is it?
The bill impacts American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
The CBO estimates that the bill would increase net direct spending by $20 million over the next ten years.
The bill also:
directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct reports relating to minimum wages increases in American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands;
requires the Secretary of the Interior to direct the American Samoa Election Office to have American Samoans vote to see if they want U.S. citizenship;
exempts vessels from a requirement that they be rebuilt in the United States if they off load in American Samoa and were rebuilt outside of the United States before January 1, 2011;
requires departments and agencies, in the case of grants to American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands, to waive any requirement for local matching funds (including in-kind contributions) that the area would otherwise be required to provide, including waiver of an entire matching requirement for a grant requiring matching funds of $500,000 or less;
establishes the St. Croix National Heritage Area in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and establishes the Castle Nugent National Historic Site on the island of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, as a unit of the National Park System;
requires the U.S. Virgin Islands to decide about whether or not to add positions to its executive cabinet;
sets a number of different requirements for workers in the Northern Mariana Islands;
lets certain grants relating to territories be paid in cash, and;
states that citizens of Guam receive preference for affordable housing in Guam, ahead of foreign nationals.
Omnibus Territories Act of 2013
A bill to improve the administration of programs in the insular areas, and for other purposes.
Let us stop having Congress dictate every minute law to the territories. Give the territories self-determination, as they are entitled to, and allow them to become states or independent nations. If they choose to remain as territories, at least give them representation as if they were state, home rule, and equal taxation responsibilities. Let us stop treating our territories like colonies -- we rebelled for the same.