CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 934 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Del. Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) on February 10, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark-up and reported the bill, as amended, on June 10, 2009.
H.R. 934 would transfer all rights, title and interest in submerged U.S. land from the tidal waters of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to three miles from the coastline to the government of the Commonwealth. The conveyance would be carried out on the date that the legislation is enacted.
Under current law, submerged land along the shore of a State or commonwealth is generally considered to be the property of that State or commonwealth for three miles from the shore. However, the submerged shoreline off the coast of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is considered to be federal land owned by the U.S. H.R. 934 would convey all the submerged coastal land to the CNMI in order to keep the treatment of the land consistent with that of other commonwealths, such as Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Located in the South Pacific, the CNMI became a U.S. commonwealth in 1978 and has a population of 80,000
According to CBO, H.R. 934 would have "no significant effect on the federal budget."