Senators weigh paring back $1.9T relief plan

DC: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 10, 2020. Reuters file photo

SAIPAN — The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which includes a total of $515 million for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Del. Gregorio Sablan said.

In his e-newsletter, Sablan said the measure's final allocations for insular area governments have been released by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

He said that the CNMI should receive $483 million to replace operational funds that were lost because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to address other negative economic impacts. 

In addition, a total of $32 million will go to the municipalities of Rota, Tinian, Saipan and the Northern Islands, Sablan said.

The funds for the CNMI may be transferred to private nonprofit organizations, public benefit corporations involved in transportation and special-purpose units of government, he added.

"At the same time, and in coordination with the House and the White House, Senate staff have been working with their parliamentarian to make sure the compiled text meets the specific requirements that apply to a reconciliation measure in the Senate, and can be passed by a simple majority vote there," Sablan said.

The measure is supported by President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats, who hold slim majorities in both houses of Congress.